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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 8, 2013

Vilsack to ethanol industry — ‘You’re winning’

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 8, 2013

As legislation proposing to reform or repeal the renewable fuel standard starts to trickle in, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has a message for the ethanol industry: The Obama administration is squarely behind you. At a speech yesterday at a renewable fuels industry gathering here, Vilsack acknowledged the congressional and legal challenges facing the ethanol sector and repeated his unwavering support for the industry. Opponents have stepped up attacks this year, he said, because the ethanol industry is so far “winning” the various battles on and off Capitol Hill. [ read more … ]

Team ‘captain’ Obama lays out battle plan for House Dems

Eugene Mulero, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 8, 2013

Previewing his upcoming State of the Union address, President Obama yesterday urged House Democrats to support energy-efficient programs during the 113th Congress. peaking at the Democrats’ policy retreat less than an hour outside of Washington, D.C., Obama reaffirmed a commitment to pursue an energy agenda during his second term consisting of less drilling for oil while developing more fuel-efficient factories and modes of transportation.
“I’m going to make sure that we’re focused on job creation here in America, and that means that we have an energy agenda that can make us less dependent on foreign oil,” Obama said. Such an “energy strategy,” as he put it, “would maintain our leadership well into the future.”
[ read more … ]

Advocates gear up to defend renewable fuel standard

Julia Pyper, Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted February 8, 2013

Advocates for the biofuel industry are sharpening their swords and ginning up support for the federal mandate on biofuel blending in anticipation of a new round of attacks from the oil and gas industry. Under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), refiners are required to mix 36 billion gallons of biofuel with traditional transportation fuel by 2022. Of that amount, 21 billion gallons is to come from advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. The oil and gas industry has waged a war against the RFS, citing the shortage of advanced biofuels and impossible-to-meet blending targets. In preparation for a renewed debate over the program, supporters defended the mandate for its energy security, economic and environmental benefits yesterday at the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) Policy Forum on Capitol Hill. [ read more … ]

Senate Republicans’ ‘phantom fuels’ bill takes aim at cellulosic targets

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 8, 2013

A trio of Republican senators introduced legislation that would force U.S. EPA to base its annual targets for cellulosic biofuel on the previous year’s production. The legislation addresses what the oil industry considers a major flaw with the renewable fuel standard. EPA’s aggressive targets, the industry says, force refiners to pay penalties for “phantom fuels,” or cellulosic fuels that are not yet widely available in the market. Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced S. 251, the “Phantom Fuel Reform Act.” Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) yesterday introduced an identical House measure (E&ENews PM, Feb. 7). [ read more … ]

Ethanol slowdown not enough, say mandate critics

By ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star  •    •  Posted February 8, 2013

Never in the history of corn-based ethanol have so many Nebraska ethanol plants been idle. “This would be the largest drop we’ve ever seen,” Todd Sneller of the Nebraska Ethanol Board said as he reacted to the most recent idling announcement from AGP at Hastings. [ read more … ]

Top Biofuel States Named

  •  Environmental Leader  •  Posted February 8, 2013

California is home to nearly 30 advanced biofuel companies, but dozens of other states from coast to coast also are beginning to realize the economic benefits of this emerging industry, according to analysis by green business policy group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). There are now more than 80 advanced biofuel companies, refineries and related operations located in at least 27 states. Beyond California, the top four states for biofuel companies are: Illinois, which has eight; Colorado, six; Texas, five; and Iowa, four. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.