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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 20, 2013

Rising cost of corn ethanol credits alarms Hill

  •    •  Posted March 20, 2013

Congressional committees are taking note of a massive spike in the price of corn ethanol credits that refiners use to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s renewable fuels mandate — amid concern it could increase gasoline prices. House and Senate energy panels are eyeing the price of ethanol renewable identification numbers, or RINs, which have skyrocketed from pennies a gallon to more than $1 per gallon in recent weeks. That could cost the refining industry $7 billion this year, according to a Barclays analyst as cited by the Financial Times. [ read more … ]

Ethanol backers return critics’ fire over gas prices

By Emily Nohr, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted March 20, 2013

Oil supporters say that the ethanol standards were set at a time when gasoline demand was expected to rise steadily. Instead, demand has declined, and refiners, forced to blend more ethanol than they can actually use, have resorted to buying a lot of ethanol credits, known as renewable identification numbers, or RINs, to meet federally mandated levels. Renewable-fuel supporters say that oil stakeholders are incorrectly pointing to ethanol and an uptick earlier this month in the price of RINs for higher prices at the gas pump. [ read more … ]

Advanced producers play defense on Capitol Hill

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted March 20, 2013

Biofuels executives yesterday took to Capitol Hill to tout their accomplishments as they face criticism from oil companies for low production. At a briefing for Hill staffers sponsored by the offices of Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and organized by the Fuels America coalition, company officials said they were making demonstrable progress toward commercial-scale production. They emphasized that a strong first-generation ethanol industry was vital for cellulosic biofuels made from plant-based materials like agricultural residues, perennial grasses and municipal solid waste. They also denounced attempts to dismantle the renewable fuel standard, which sets yearly goals for both conventional corn-based ethanol and advanced biofuels. [ read more … ]

Trade group requests U.S. probe of oil industry’s efforts to impede renewable fuels

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted March 20, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association today asked government agencies to begin an investigation into the oil industry’s efforts to block the expansion of ethanol in the marketplace. In a letter addressed to the heads of U.S. EPA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen called the oil companies’ activities “high anti-competitive.” Their actions, he said, directly undermine several federal laws and work against the government’s efforts to roll out more ethanol through the renewable fuel standard. [ read more … ]

Cellulosic technology must use existing cropland — study

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted March 20, 2013

Cellulosic biofuels can become profitable for farmers and help displace oil, but they must use already-available agricultural land, according to a study released by a nonprofit yesterday. Commissioned by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, the study found that encouraging farmers to use agricultural residues and to engage in “double-cropping” would bring the industry further in the short term than relying on planting new acres of switch grass and other perennial energy crops. “It starts with the residue,” said co-author Bruce Dale, a chemical engineering professor and biofuels expert at Michigan State University. “We use the corn residues and other residues and start building the cellulosic biofuel industry with them.” [ read more … ]

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