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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 13, 2013

Obama vows quicker permitting, urges infrastructure and alt vehicle funding

Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 13, 2013

The president called on Congress to create an Energy Security Trust, an idea authored by the nonprofit group Securing America’s Future Energy that would utilize some oil and gas revenues from federal lands to fund research into alternative fuel vehicles. “In fact, much of our newfound energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together,” Obama said. “So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. “If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we,” Obama said, referring to SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council, which is chaired by FedEx Chairman Frederick Smith and former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. P.X. Kelley.
[ read more … ]

Obama urges congressional action in State of the Union — but might take matters into his own hands

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 13, 2013

President Obama showed last night that he was eager to spend his renewed political capital on priorities that he sometimes downplayed during his first four years in office — notably climate change. Obama devoted more than two paragraphs of his State of the Union address to the issue, portraying climate change as a dangerous threat to be avoided through regulation if legislation proves to be impossible. “For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change,” said the president, lowering his voice and slowing his pace for emphasis. [ read more … ]

Scarce corn idles ethanol plants

  •  Argus Leader  •  Posted February 13, 2013

The persistent U.S. drought is taking a toll on producers of ethanol, with corn so scarce that almost two dozen ethanol plants have been forced to stop production. The Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group, provided data to The Associated Press showing that 20 of the nation’s 211 ethanol plants have ceased production during the past year, including five in January. Most remain open, with workers spending time performing maintenance-type tasks. But ethanol production probably won’t resume until after this year’s corn is harvested in late August or September. Industry experts don’t expect a shortage — millions of barrels are stockpiled and the remaining 191 plants are producing. Yet concern is mounting . [ read more … ]

Hopes for robust corn crop mount after last year’s drought

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •  Argus Leader  •  Posted February 13, 2013

With last year’s withering drought still fresh on their minds, corn growers are hoping Mother Nature will give them a break in the coming growing season. Projections released by analysts over the past few days are so far optimistic, predicting a record number of acres to be planted and harvested, despite lingering dry conditions. But at the beginning of last year, analysts also predicted a bumper crop — and then watched their projections fall as the weather turned warm and stayed dry throughout the summer. [ read more … ]

Rulemaking chops seen as edge for 2 inside candidates to replace Jackson

Jason Plautz and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters  •  Argus Leader  •  Posted February 13, 2013

With U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson leaving the agency today, two of her lieutenants are being discussed in Washington, D.C., as leading candidates to succeed her. Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and EPA air chief Gina McCarthy — both with extensive experience at EPA and as state regulators — have the regulatory chops that environmentalists prize and also have reputations for giving industry a seat at the table for rulemakings. [ read more … ]

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