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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 22, 2013

Lobbyists to hit Hill for 2-day slugfest over RFS

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 22, 2013

Just about every sector of the economy with a stake in the future of the renewable fuel standard will be on Capitol Hill this week for the main event of a months-long examination of the biofuel mandate. Representatives from the oil, livestock, auto and food industries, as well as environmentalists, will have a seat next to the biofuel industry’s most ardent supporters in what promises to be a two-day slugfest over whether the five-year standard should be repealed or reformed. In all, 16 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subpanel on Energy and Power. [ read more … ]

White House steps up biofuel support amid escalating attacks

By Zack Colman, The Hill.com  •    •  Posted July 22, 2013

The White House on Thursday doubled down on its support of a biofuel-blending rule that’s drawing intense attacks from the oil industry and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Heather Zichal, President Obama’s top energy and climate adviser, said the renewable fuel standard is the “backbone of our policy” for reducing oil imports, and added it would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Calls to repeal the renewable fuel standard are nothing but short-sighted,” Zichal said at a Thursday event hosted by The Hill and the Advanced Biofuels Association. Zichal said the Obama administration would remain committed to the standard in the face of the “RFS battles that we know are ahead of us.” [ read more … ]

A Patchwork of Biofuels

By LAWRENCE ULRICH, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 22, 2013

With diesel engines and their ultra-low-sulfur fuel now green enough even to meet California rules, one remaining environmental objection is that the fuel still starts from a barrel of nonrenewable petroleum. A possible next step is renewable biodiesel made from feedstocks including soybean oil, animal fats and even recycled fry oil. But some diesel-car manufacturers are wary of a patchwork of state mandates calling for higher concentrations of biodiesel at the pump. Mercedes-Benz dealers, in fact, have stopped selling diesel models in Illinois, which is subsidizing a biodiesel blend that the automaker believes could muck up its engines or emissions systems. [ read more … ]

DuPont Seeks Cellulosic Ethanol Joint Ventures

By Owen Fletcher, Dow Jones Business News, July 19, 2013, 04:55:00 PM EDT  •    •  Posted July 22, 2013

Chemical giant DuPont Co. ( DD ) is seeking partners for joint ventures in the production of cellulosic ethanol, a next- generation biofuel, a DuPont official said. “DuPont would take a minority stake and…we would basically take an active role in setting production up” in the joint ventures, which the company is discussing with parties in the U.S., Southeast Asia, China, Brazil and Europe, Jan Koninckx, DuPont’s business director for biorefineries, said in an interview this week. [ read more … ]

Moniz outlines plans to overhaul department

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 22, 2013

Secretary Ernest Moniz outlined an ambitious effort to reorganize the Department of Energy in a memo and address to department staff yesterday, aiming to restructure the responsibilities of his top deputies and bringing in a cadre of senior advisers. The effort includes establishing a new undersecretary for management and performance, a position to which President Obama yesterday nominated NASA Chief Financial Officer Beth Robinson (E&E Daily, July 19). Moniz also will be combining the undersecretaries of science and energy into a single position, for which a nomination is expected soon. “Successful implementation of the President’s Climate Action Plan, ‘all of the above’ energy strategy and nuclear security agenda require the appropriate alignment of management functions and strengthened management throughout the agency,” Moniz wrote yesterday in a memo to DOE staff. [ read more … ]

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