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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 10, 2014

House to vote on short-term funding bill

By Scott Wong, The Hill.com  •    •  Posted December 10, 2014

Reid filed cloture on the defense bill Tuesday, likely setting up a vote Thursday to end an expected filibuster of the bill. A final vote would be held either Thursday or Friday. The Democratic leader said he would schedule a vote on a one-year extension of tax provisions after dealing with the omnibus and defense legislation. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is pushing for a longer-term tax package that would include a permanent extension of charitable tax breaks. But Reid sees little chance of passing it. [ read more … ]

$1T spending deal averts government shutdown 

Nick Juliano, Manuel Quiñones and Annie Snider, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted December 10, 2014

Of the three main energy and environmental policymaking agencies, only DOE would see a budget increase. Its energy programs would grow $22 million to $10.2 billion next year, with increases across its most significant offices. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s budget authority would grow nearly $25 million compared to fiscal 2014, to $1.93 billion for this fiscal year; Nuclear Energy would receive $914 million, a $24 million increase from last year; and Fossil Energy would add nearly $9 million, securing $571 million in the bill. [ read more … ]

Kansas A.G. Schmidt asks for federal court review of EPA ethanol requirement

By Jonathan Shorman, Topeka Capital-Journal  •    •  Posted December 10, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency used scientifically flawed methods in a new regulation that could harm ethanol production, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Office said this week, announcing that the state’s top lawyer is now asking a federal court to review the agency’s requirement. The legal action comes at the behest of a state association of ethanol processors. Schmidt argues the EPA implemented its 2014 edition of the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) — which helps estimate pollution from cars and trucks — without allowing states to comment or review the changes. The attorney general also says an EPA-commissioned fuel study to develop MOVES used a flawed methodology. [ read more … ]

Kansas and Nebraska team to block EPA rules on higher ethanol blends

By Meghan Sapp, Biofuels Digest  •    •  Posted December 10, 2014

The MOVES2014 model is based on an EPA-commissioned fuel study that purports to analyze the emissions effects of different fuel parameters, including ethanol content, while artificially and unnecessarily holding other fuel parameters constant. This so-called “match-blending” methodology unfairly targets ethanol and assigns disproportionate negative emissions effects. The dictated use of this model effectively blocks states from encouraging the use of ethanol as part of their clean air plans [ read more … ]

Legislature-commissioned report finds carbon tax feasible for Ore. 

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 10, 2014

A carbon tax in Oregon would have minimal effects on jobs and the economy, paving the way for the state’s Legislature to pursue carbon pricing in 2015, according to an analysis by researchers at Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC).That, in turn, could be a first step in joining or linking to California’s existing cap-and-trade system and perhaps British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax, as well. The state and Canadian province, along with Washington, have already committed to regional carbon pricing under the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. [ read more … ]

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