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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 6, 2014

Branstad asks Obama to boost renewable fuel mandate

Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is urging the White House to reverse a proposal that would reduce the amount of renewable fuels required to be blended into the country’s motor fuel supply. In a letter to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, Branstad and Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill., said the proposed reduction to the renewable fuel standard would be especially damaging to biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, the fledgling industry where the fuel is made from crop residue, grasses and wood chips and other plant materials. The OMB is in charge of vetting proposed regulations. [ read more … ]

Politics, Deadlines Add Extra Layer to RFS Decision

By Janell Thomas, Farm Futures  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

Amid the criticisms, Quinn and Branstad, who lead the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, said in a letter to the Obama Administration that there’s support for the RFS based on economic and national security concerns. Through continued expansion of biofuels plants, the group in a letter said there will be improved job creation, lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower expenditures on imported oil. Another concern despite the lower levels was the impact on biodiesel, the group said. “The EPA’s proposed volume cuts for biodiesel are creating turmoil, resulting in production cutbacks and layoffs,” it said. “More than halfway through the year, many jobs are in jeopardy and many biodiesel plants have been negatively impacted.” [ read more … ]

Heineman, Governors Group tell EPA to Back Ethanol

By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief, Nebraska TV  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

The nation’s governors have a message for President Obama, as Gov. Heineman and 32 others tell the EPA to keep strong ethanol rules in place. A bi-partisan group of governors is raising concerns about what is known as the Renewable Fuels Standard. A proposed change to the EPA rule would see less ethanol blended into the nation’s fuel supply.
That’s in direct opposition to what the governors want, which is more ethanol being used. Heineman said, “The Renewable Fuels Standard has been good for America, good for the Midwest, Nebraska in particular. We’re the number two ethanol producer in America, the number one cattle feeding state in America, and that’s all because we have the water, cattle, corn, land, the resources to make that happen to feed the world and we don’t need the EPA to mess around with that.” [ read more … ]

Governors’ Biofuels Coalition Renews Call to Restore RFS Production Levels

By Andy Eubank, Hoosier To0day  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, chairman and vice chairman of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, have sent a letter urging the Obama Administration to ensure the development of domestically produced renewable fuels by amending EPA’s proposed RFS levels for 2014 so consumers have real choices at the fuel pump.

In the letter, the governors write, “The continued expansion of the biofuels industry is essential for our nation’s energy and economic future. Through continued expansion of biofuels plants, it will be possible to deliver millions of gallons of clean, renewable fuel, create thousands of jobs, lower imported oil expenditures, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent, compared to gasoline.” [ read more … ]

Cellulosic Ethanol: A Technology Update, October 6, Rayburn House Office Building

By Jessie Stark, EESI  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing examining the technologies that are making commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production a reality. Cellulosic ethanol is produced from agricultural residue — primarily, at this time, from corn stover (leaves, stalks and husks), which is removed in a sustainable manner after the harvest. Cellulosic ethanol is commercially produced at one U.S. facility, with two more coming on-line later this year. [ read more … ]

Health Impacts of Vehicle Fuel Highlighted in New Documentary and Public Awareness Website

By Jessie Stolark. EESI  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

On October 3, the film Pump: The Movie will begin screening at theaters. The documentary from Director Josh Tickell details the steep societal costs of our transportation fuels – and the quest to find clean, cheap alternatives. Furthermore, on September 30, the Urban Air Initiative released a powerful public awareness website – FixOurFuel.com, which tallies the numerous health effects of passenger vehicle tailpipes, which have been well documented by public health researchers. [ read more … ]

The Most Ambitious Environmental Lawsuit Ever

By NATHANIEL RICH, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

But the hemorrhaging of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands has gone largely unremarked upon beyond state borders. This is surprising, because the wetlands, apart from their unique ecological significance and astounding beauty, buffer the impact of hurricanes that threaten not just New Orleans but also the port of South Louisiana, the nation’s largest; just under 10 percent of the country’s oil reserves; a quarter of its natural-gas supply; a fifth of its oil-refining capacity; and the gateway to its internal waterway system. The attenuation of Louisiana, like any environmental disaster carried beyond a certain point, is a national-security threat. [ read more … ]

First Commercial Quantities of EPA-Approved Cellulosic Ethanol Sold–With a Little Help from Michigan Tech

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

Scientists and engineers—including several at Michigan Technological University—have been talking for years about biofuel, particularly cellulosic ethanol, which is fuel made from trees and other woody plants. The stumbling blocks have been huge and progress, slow. But the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuels Standard mandates that cellulosic ethanol be blended into gasoline for use in vehicles, so the need is immediate. Now, the first commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol generated from woody biomass that meets EPA standards have gone to market. American Process Inc. (API), an Atlanta-based company that develops renewable materials, fuels and chemicals from biomass, is producing the cellulosic ethanol at a demonstration plant in Alpena, Mich. [ read more … ]

EnergyWire’s Ferris talks Big Oil’s departure from renewable energy investments

By Monica Trauzzi, E&E  •    •  Posted October 6, 2014

Last month, Chevron Corp. announced the sale of its renewables subsidiary, following a trend by several oil majors to move away from clean energy investments. On today’s The Cutting Edge, EnergyWire reporter David Ferris discusses the shift in clean energy strategy at several oil companies and explains how it is impacting the renewable energy industry. [ read more … ]

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