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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 17, 2013

Oil prices drive ethanol, corn prices — U.N. study

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 17, 2013

Oil prices are the long-run drivers of ethanol and corn prices, according to a new study by economists from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. FAO economists Natalia Merkushev and George Rapsomanikis found that in the long run, ethanol prices move with oil prices — though their relationship is affected by federal policies like the renewable fuel standard. In general, a 10 percent increase in the price of oil will cause a 4.5 percent increase in the price of ethanol in the long term, the study said. [ read more … ]

Economists downplay impact of EPA’s RFS proposal

December 16, 2013 By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa  •    •  Posted December 17, 2013

Two Midwestern economists say the EPA’s proposed reduction in ethanol production in 2014 will contribute to a “slow down” in what’s been a booming ag economy, but it won’t drive the farm economy into negative territory. Iowa State University economist David Swenson says there won’t be “much of an impact” on the production of ethanol “Rolling it back to last year’s levels, that means that maybe at risk within the Iowa economy — literally — just a few dozen jobs at the production side,” Swenson says. “Now the impacts out into the farm sector, into the grain prices — that’s negative, but again the economists at Iowa State are saying, ‘Well, it’s not as much as people maybe think it’s going to be.’ Plus, they’re anticipating reasonably healthy worldwide demand for exports.” [ read more … ]

Fracking boom is dilemma for environmentalists

By Erika Bolstad / McClatchy Washington Bureau  •    •  Posted December 17, 2013

Here, in the heart of coal country, at the center of the natural gas boom and the former foundation of U.S. manufacturing might, a long-shuttered auto plant now houses the Aquion Energy factory. Its workers are building innovative batteries to store solar- and wind-generated electricity. Yet Aquion’s best customers are across the globe, not down the street. The battery manufacturing plant sits southeast of Pittsburgh, atop the Marcellus Shale, the rich geographic formation that is one of the epicenters of the natural gas boom. So the battery storage systems the company makes aren’t likely to be used here, a region brimming with abundant natural gas reserves and reliant on coal-fired plants for energy.
[ read more … ]

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