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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 22, 2012

Automakers back EPA tailpipe proposal

Jeremy P. Jacobs  •  E&E  •  Posted February 22, 2012

A coalition of automakers urged U.S. EPA last week to proceed with stricter standards for tailpipe emissions, highlighting a divide within industry over the potential new regulations. Global Automakers — which includes Ferrari, Honda, Nissan and others — told EPA the “Tier 3” standards would help the industry by making emission regulations uniform nationwide. [ read more … ]

Tiny particles may be more dangerous than once believed — studies

  •  E&E  •  Posted February 22, 2012

Scientists are finding new reasons to worry about secondary organic aerosols, a subset of the fine atmospheric particles that kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year [ read more … ]

New Enzyme Could Cut Cost of Ethanol Made From Waste

DIANE CARDWELL  •  New York Times  •  Posted February 22, 2012

It is one of the holy grails of clean energy production: finding a way to make ethanol from the cellulose in biowaste like corn husks and household trash. Although several pilot projects are up and running — with many more in the pipeline — commercial production has remained elusive, with the costs remaining much higher than for producing ethanol from corn, or gasoline. But in what may come as welcome news to oil companies that are paying penalties for failing to use cellulosic ethanol — a biofuel that, commercially speaking, does not yet exist — a big producer of industrial enzymes has developed an enzyme that can help wring more ethanol out of cellulose at a lower cost. [ read more … ]

Shifting politics imperil regional push for low-carbon fuel standard

Jason Plautz  •  E&E  •  Posted February 22, 2012

Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management’s low-carbon fuel standard was approved by 11 governors in 2009. But seven of the 11 governors are now gone — including three Democrats who have been replaced by Republicans (two states replaced Republicans with Democrats) — and with them could have gone the enthusiasm for the clean fuel standard. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), for example, announced in December that his state program would not be moving forward on the fuel initiative. There’s legislation pending that would take New Hampshire out of the standard, and several other states are said to be considering exits. And New Jersey, which saw conservative Republican Chris Christie replace Democrat Jon Corzine, has also come out against a version of the program. [ read more … ]

Losing Ground to Oil, Brazilian Ethanol Struggles to Compete

Rachel Glickhouse  •  Council of the Americas  •  Posted February 22, 2012

It’s a bittersweet moment for Brazil’s energy industry. With a steady stream of petroleum discoveries promising to make Brazil one of the world’s largest oil producers, the country is turning more to oil and gas as biofuels begin to languish. Brazil, one of the world’s ethanol-producing pioneers, began making the sugar-based fuel during the energy crisis of the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to gas. [ read more … ]

Obama directs agencies to buy more bio-based products

Amanda Peterka  •  E&E  •  Posted February 22, 2012

President Obama today directed agencies to purchase more bio-based products and called for a strengthening of the Department of Agriculture’s certification system for materials made from plants. Obama’s presidential memorandum also directs Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase by 50 percent the number of products that are classified as bio-based and qualify for federal procurement standards. [ read more … ]

Ethanol industry aims to cut glut as subsidy ends

Ben Lefebvre  •  Wall Street Journal  •  Posted February 22, 2012

A surge in U.S. ethanol production and falling export demand are driving down prices for the corn-based fuel, curbing producer profits and causing some plants to shut. Ethanol inventories ballooned late last year as producers rushed to take advantage of a government subsidy that expired Dec. 31. Around the same time, exports started to slide and domestic demand weakened for gasoline, with which ethanol is blended. [ read more … ]

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