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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 13, 2012

With fresh clout, White House likely will continue clean energy spending push

Katie Howell and Hannah Northey  •  E&E  •  Posted February 13, 2012

All indications suggest President Obama will continue forging ahead into the political minefield of hefty clean energy investments when he rolls out his fiscal 2013 spending wish list for the Energy Department and other federal agencies later this morning. Despite an ongoing scandal surrounding a DOE loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra and a lackluster response from Congress over his previous efforts to boost clean energy spending, Obama has hinted he is not slacking off in his push to ramp up federal investment in the sector. [ read more … ]

China’s Slowing Ethanol Growth May Spur Animal-Feed Imports

Jeff Wilson  •  Bloomberg  •  Posted February 13, 2012

China’s five-year plan to slow domestic production of grain-based ethanol will mean tighter supplies of a byproduct used for animal feed, boosting demand for imports through 2016, the U.S. Grains Council said. [ read more … ]

Ethanol producers deal with low demand

DAN PILLER  •  Des Moines Register  •  Posted February 13, 2012

Ethanol has generated more than its share of detractors, but since Jan. 1 the biofuel’s real enemy has been the law of supply and demand, which has thrown red ink over Iowa’s 41 ethanol plants. While the cost of ethanol’s feedstock, corn, remains above $6 per bushel, ethanol’s price dropped from $2.80 per gallon or more in mid-2011 on the Chicago Board of Trade to less than $2.20 per bushel since Jan. 1. Traders anticipated a drop in demand after a federal tax credit ended. [ read more … ]

Calif asks for stay of low-carbon fuel ruling

  •  Associated Press  •  Posted February 13, 2012

California officials are asking a federal judge to allow work to resume on implementation of the state’s first-in-the-nation mandate for low-carbon vehicle fuels. The California Air Resources Board on Friday filed a request for a stay in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the court to allow work to resume while it appeals a lower court decision to halt the program.
[ read more … ]

Vilsack says rules on biofuels face threat

DAN PILLER  •  Des Moines Register  •  Posted February 13, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack warned an Iowa group Friday in Ankeny that “the Midwest could be damaged” if oil interests succeed in weakening the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. “Big oil is pushing back against the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Vilsack said at a forum at Des Moines Area Community College. “If they succeed, the consequences could be very serious for the Midwest.” [ read more … ]

Nebraska’s New enzymes plant is hiring, training

Roseann Moring  •  Omaha World Herald  •  Posted February 13, 2012

The future was the main topic of conversation at a tour Friday of a soon-to-open Blair plant that will make the enzymes necessary for ethanol. “Biofuels today are much bigger than people know,” said Adam Monroe, the president of the North American arm of Novozymes. “But it has a much bigger potential.” [ read more … ]

Loan probe predicts $3B in losses, less than Congress expected

John McArdle and Gabriel Nelson  •  E&E  •  Posted February 13, 2012

A White House-commissioned review of the Department of Energy’s embattled loan program estimates that taxpayers are at risk of losing $2.7 billion on the government investment initiative, and that is not even counting the $567 million that is likely already lost because of the recent bankruptcies of Solyndra and an energy storage company. The Obama administration was quick to note today that the loan program was always designed to provide funding for promising projects that could not otherwise get funding from the private sector. Even $3 billion in losses would wind up far below the $10 billion that Congress set aside to cover potential risks when it established the green energy loan initiative. It is also well under the $5 billion risk assessment that DOE originally made for its $23.8 billion portfolio. [ read more … ]

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