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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 9, 2014

Schmidt challenges EPA ethanol emissions model

By Nick Sloan, The Kansas City Kansasan  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked a federal appeals court to block new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that discourage the use of ethanol by requiring states to adopt conclusions about ethanol emissions not backed by scientific facts. The lawsuit, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, asks the court to reject new EPA regulations that will require states to immediately begin using the MOVES2014 model in their State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for controlling pollutants governed by national air quality standards. [ read more … ]

Kan., Neb. AGs join fight against EPA ethanol model 

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

Attorneys general of two Midwestern states are joining pro-biofuel groups in complaints that a recent vehicular emissions model unfairly characterizes ethanol’s impact on air quality. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) filed a petition Friday with the Energy Future Coalition and the Urban Air Initiative to challenge U.S. EPA’s recent update of the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES), a computer model to measure levels of aromatic hydrocarbons, particulate matter, ozone and other pollutants from vehicles. States can use the model to devise state implementation plans for compliance with the Clean Air Act. [ read more … ]

Wyden maintains narrow hope for longer extenders bill 

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

Pointing to Friday’s positive jobs report for November, which showed that the economy had added 321,000 jobs, the largest one-month addition in nearly three years, Wyden said a longer extenders package would build on that progress. But he acknowledged that it was a long shot, given the limited amount of time remaining in the year. “I’ve made it clear that it’s hard to see a procedural path forward,” Wyden said. “But if you take a look at the economic news of last week, where things were starting to pick up a little bit, it’s clear if you provide some predictability and certainty that it would be possible to encourage the kind of investment that would cause those more encouraging numbers to grow.” The Senate is scheduled to adjourn Thursday and still has to act on yet-to-be-released legislation to fund the government past then and the annual defense authorization bill, which contains a massive and controversial package of public lands bills. [ read more … ]

Chicago aldermen endorse higher ethanol push

By Hal Dardick, Chicago Tribune  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

The 11-5 vote by the Finance Committee came after hours of debate featuring such dramatically different views that Ald. Rey Colon, 35th, declared the arguments as “a battle of the snake-oil vendors or something.” If approved by the full council, Chicago would become the first major city in the country to require many of its gas stations to provide pumps for fuel known as E15 that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. Currently, stations offer E10, with up to 10 percent ethanol. [ read more … ]

City Council Finance Committee Passes Chicago Clean with E15 Ordinance

By Mk Communications  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

Supporters of a cleaner, less expensive gasoline alternative on Monday cheered passage by the City Council Finance Committee of the Chicago Clean with E15 Ordinance. The ordinance would make E15—a fuel blend containing more made-in-America biofuels—available as an option to Chicago drivers, and now moves to the full City Council for a hearing on Wednesday. “I’m very pleased this ordinance has such strong support within the Council and across Chicago,” said co-sponsor Alderman Anthony Beale. “I look forward to the full Council vote, and to giving Chicagoans a cleaner, less expensive option.” [ read more … ]

Cheap Oil Also Means Cheaper Commodities Amid Surpluses

By Isaac Arnsdorf, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 9, 2014

Corn is the most directly affected agricultural commodity when oil prices fall, and lower costs could spur farmers to increase plantings, while reducing the appeal of biofuels made from the grain, Christopher Narayanan, a SocGen analyst, said in a Dec. 4 report. The bank expects prices to fall to an average $3.92 a bushel in 2015. Futures in Chicago have averaged about $4.20 this year. “What you see in a farm is tractors, trucks, pumps, fertilizer and chemicals, so everything is somehow linked to energy,” said John Baffes, a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington. “If the decline in oil prices is sustained, or oil prices are even lower in the future, that will relieve a lot of pressure from agriculture.” [ read more … ]

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