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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE April 23, 2014

Vilsack: Agriculture unfairly blamed for climate change

Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

Ball pressed Vilsack on whether ethanol and other renewable fuels are an environmental benefit, referring to a University of Nebraska study released this week that says cellulosic ethanol creates 7 percent more greenhouse gases than use conventional gasoline. “The study started with an assumption about the way corn stover would be removed from the land. The problem with the assumption is no farmer in the country would actually take that much crop residue,” he said. “When you start with a faulty assumption, you end up with a faulty conclusion,” Vilsack said. [ read more … ]

EPA lowers 2013 cellulosic mandate

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

U.S. EPA issued a new 2013 cellulosic biofuel standard today, capping a reconsideration process that began after the oil industry argued the original target was too high.
EPA said it would require refiners to show that they either blended or purchased credits for 810,185 ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic biofuel. The new number is far below the 6 million gallons that the agency finalized for cellulosic biofuel last year. The agency took the action through a direct final rule, saying in a statement the new target is meant to “better align the standard with newly available production data from 2013.” [ read more … ]

EPA mandate will face legal challenges, industry group warns

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

The Advanced Biofuels Association warned U.S. EPA yesterday that it will face legal challenges if it fails to increase this year’s mandate for advanced biofuels. EPA has proposed requiring refiners to use 2.21 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of advanced biofuels this year in a rule that is scheduled to be finalized in June. The number is below last year’s actual production of 3.23 billion gallons and flies in the face of a court ruling last year that found EPA could not use the annual target-setting exercise to unduly influence the market, Advanced Biofuels Association President Michael McAdams told a crowd of industry supporters yesterday. [ read more … ]

Advocates launch new RFS campaign

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

Biofuels supporters today launched a new ad campaign to rally support for the federal renewable fuel standard. The campaign by Fuels America, a coalition of biofuels, agriculture and national security organizations, includes both television and digital advertising, as well as the launch of a website, www.oilrigged.com. The organization did not give a cost figure for the campaign. [ read more … ]

EPA’s newly proposed targets are bad for climate, assert industry heads

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

For years, the biofuels industry has seen solid support from the federal government. But as the administration intensifies its message on climate change, the industry behind the one-time pillar of global warming mitigation — replacing fossil fuels with biofuels — is losing influence in the White House. That was the message from the heads of biofuel trade groups yesterday, speaking on a panel at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in National Harbor, Md. Last fall, U.S. EPA — the agency responsible for overseeing the blending of biofuels in the national fuel supply — changed course on what had been a upward trend for companies making fuels from traditional feedstocks like corn and soybeans, but also from grasses, household waste, wood, algae and agricultural residues. [ read more … ]

University of Oregon student vote urges cutting fossil fuel stocks

Diane Dietz, Eugene Register-Guard  •    •  Posted April 23, 2014

The student association at the University of Oregon has voted to ask the foundation that runs the school’s endowment to divest from its stock holdings in fossil fuel companies.
The University of Oregon Foundation manages $734 million in long-term investments, but only about 1 percent is in fossil fuels, according to foundation President and CEO Paul Weinhold. In response to last week’s nonbinding vote by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, Weinhold said the foundation will not be shedding its fossil fuel investments. [ read more … ]

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