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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 25, 2014

White House plans to increase RFS targets — Franken

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

White House adviser John Podesta indicated yesterday that the administration is planning to raise its targets for both ethanol and advanced biofuels in a final rule setting this year’s renewable fuel standard mandates, according to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). Franken and eight other Senate supporters of biodiesel met with Podesta yesterday on Capitol Hill to push the White House to increase the mandate. U.S. EPA last fall proposed to lower the targets for the first time since the 2007 renewable fuel standard (RFS) was put in place, provoking backlash by farmers and biofuel producers. [ read more … ]

Franken: Obama administration may scale back cuts to ethanol, biodiesel quotas

by: Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

Sen. Al Franken says the Obama administration may scale back projected cuts to ethanol and other renewable fuels production. An Environmental Protection Agency proposal for renewable fuel standards would reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires. After discussing the proposal with a White House official on Thursday, Franken says he believes the EPA will reduce the size of cuts. He still expects an overall drop in renewable fuel quotas. [ read more … ]

Ethanol mandate: Going up?

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill.com  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

White House adviser John Podesta has indicated the administration plans to raise the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Thursday. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed draft on blending volumes, which was released late last year, cut the amount of biofuels that refiners would need to mix into their fuels. The plan represented the first time the agency had lowered the target from the previous year. While the primary focus of Thursday’s meeting between Podesta and Senate Democrats was on biodiesel volumes, Franken said the adviser mentioned that the final blending mandates would likely be higher than what the EPA had initially proposed. [ read more … ]

White House to Begin $10 Billion Rural Investment Fund

By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

The White House Rural Council will announce plans on Thursday to start a $10 billion investment fund that will give pension funds and large investors the opportunity to invest in agricultural projects. Those include wastewater systems, energy projects and infrastructure development in rural America. “We’re the eHarmony.com of infrastructure and business investment,” the agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said, referring to the online dating service. [ read more … ]

USDA, private sector launch $10B fund to boost rural projects

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the creation of a $10 billion fund to support the development of water, transportation and energy infrastructure, as well as rural businesses, in rural America. USDA, CoBank and Capitol Peak Asset Management Co. have joined to create a mechanism that will provide loans to projects that boost rural infrastructure and business development. “It means we can begin to address the infrastructure deficit that exists in rural communities today,” Vilsack said in a call with reporters yesterda [ read more … ]

GMO labeling measure qualifies for Oregon fall ballot

By Jeff Mapes, Portland Oregonian  •    •  Posted July 25, 2014

A ballot measure to require genetically modified food products to be labeled has qualified for the November general election, Oregon elections officials confirmed yesterday. The secretary of state’s office said the initiative had gathered nearly 119,000 valid signatures, well above the 87,213 needed to appear on the ballot. [ read more … ]

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