Please add the Governors' Biofuels Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 19, 2013

Iowa farmers upbeat after EPA chief’s speech in Des Moines

Written by Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

President Barack Obama’s top environmental official pledged to build trust with farmers in Iowa and elsewhere who have been roundly critical of federal regulation. “My commitment to you is that at the end of my term, we will have a stronger, more productive, more trusting relationship between EPA and the agriculture community,” Gina McCarthy, the newly appointed administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Thursday during a speech in Des Moines. “Why are we going to do that? It benefits me, it benefits you, and it will make this country stronger.” [ read more … ]

New EPA chief stresses cooperation with farmers on environment

AP  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

The newly appointed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that the only way to confront climate-change challenges and environmental problems facing agriculture is for farmers and government agencies to work together. Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator for three weeks, said she accepted Iowa Gov. Terry Bran­stad’s invitation to the Iowa State Fair to celebrate steps Iowa is taking to control the runoff of farm fertilizer and manure. [ read more … ]

Iowa greens meet with EPA chief, press for stricter CAFO regs

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

Environmentalists urged U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday to take a hard line toward Iowa’s livestock permitting program during the agency chief’s visit to Des Moines. Ahead of their 30-minute meeting with McCarthy, the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Sierra Club’s Iowa chapter and the Environmental Integrity Project released documents that they say show both state regulators taking a lax approach to Clean Water Act enforcement at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). [ read more … ]

Trash Into Gas, Efficiently? An Army Test May Tell

By PAUL TULLIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

Ethanol has long been promoted as an alternative fuel that increases energy independence, and federal law requires the use of greater amounts of it. But most ethanol in this country is produced from corn or soybeans, and many people worry that the mandate is pushing up food prices. Ethanol produced from trash — or agricultural waste, as others are trying — would allay such concerns. Ineos Bio, a Florida company, announced last month that it had produced ethanol from gasified wood waste, using a method that it expects to be commercially viable, and KiOR Inc. will make one million to two million gallons of diesel and gasoline this year from wood waste at its plant in Columbus, Miss., according to Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association. Mr. Hart said Sierra Energy’s technology should be complementary with the Florida company’s; the FastOx turns all municipal waste, not just wood scraps, into a gas that Ineos Bio could then transform into ethanol. [ read more … ]

New enzyme discovery could lead to cheaper cellulosic fuel

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

An international team of scientists has discovered a new plant enzyme that could eventually lead to a breakthrough in the production of cellulosic bio-based fuels made from crop wastes, as well as chemicals and plastics. Caffeoyl shikimate esterase (CSE) is an enzyme whose genes can be switched off to control the formation of lignin. Lignin is a lattice-like structure of cells that makes plants rigid. It is also a tough substance that makes it difficult to extract sugar from agricultural wastes to make biofuels. As such, it has been a roadblock to commercial production for years. [ read more … ]

DOE awards $6 million grant for joint biomass research

by Perry Beeman, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

Vermeer, Monsanto and Poet are among the firms, labs and consultants involved in a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the costs of using biomass to make biofuels. “This commitment gives Vermeer the opportunity to pull product development forward,” Jay Van Roekel, Vermeer’s strategic business unit manager said in statement. “It gives focus to a developing product line, which will get the right solutions to a new market much faster,” he said [ read more … ]

Drought improves slightly in U.S., intensifies in the West

Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

The overall area of U.S. land suffering from “exceptional” drought continued to shrink for the sixth straight week, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor maps, although dryness is set to persist and even grow in several areas of concern. By the end of last month, areas of “severe to extreme” drought had shrunk by 9 percent from the month before, covering around 20 percent of the contiguous United States, compared with the 38 percent seen in 2012. [ read more … ]

USDA opens program to purchase sugar, sell it to biofuel producers

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted August 19, 2013

The Agriculture Department yesterday invited producers to sell their sugar to the federal government as part of a program that authorizes the government to turn around and sell it to ethanol producers. USDA is using the Feedstock Flexibility Program for the first time since its creation in 2008 to combat sugar prices that have fallen more than 10 percent in the last six months. The department is soliciting bids for the program through its Commodity Credit Corp., which will sell any of the sugar gained through the program in a competitive process to both U.S. and foreign biofuel producers.
[ read more … ]

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