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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 11, 2014

House set to vote today on $1T CRomnibus; Senate vote expected soon 

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

Aides said yesterday that they expected the Senate to be in session at least through tomorrow, and potentially through the weekend, to complete work on the spending and defense bills as well as a package of temporary tax incentives, known as extenders. If the Senate is unable to consider the spending measure today, aides said, a one- or two-day CR could be passed relatively quickly to prevent a shutdown while debate in the upper chamber continues. [ read more … ]

Prospects dim in push for tax breaks

By Bernie Becker, The Hill.com  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

President Obama and House Democrats mobilized Wednesday against a bill to permanently extend three separate incentives for charitable donations, giving the measure a difficult path to becoming law. The White House threatened to veto the measure on Wednesday, complaining that its $11 billion cost wasn’t offset one day after hinting about its opposition. Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders urged rank-and-file members to vote against the plan, which has the support of the tax-writing chairmen in both chambers. The measure would indefinitely restore tax breaks for land preservation, contributions from certain retirement accounts and food donations, all of which expired at the end of 2013. [ read more … ]

Kan. AG challenges EPA ethanol emissions model

By Amy Bickel The Hutchinson News  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking a federal appeals court to block new Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding vehicles that discourages the use of ethanol in gasoline. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Attorney General Jon Bruning also announced he is joining Kansas, along with the Energy Future Coalition and the Urban Air Initiative, in challenging the rule.
[ read more … ]

Emanuel blocks Burke’s ethanol bill

By Hal Dardick and John Byrne, Chicago Tribune  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday doused Ald. Ed Burke’s plan to require larger city gas stations to offer fuel with higher levels of ethanol — an effort backed by big agriculture and some environmental groups but opposed by big oil and small business. Emanuel said the measure “needs more work” before it could get his blessing. “I think this ordinance needs a little more time to be thought through and done in a way that doesn’t put undue burdens on the small businesses, but also makes sure that our goal as a city from an environmental policy is also met,” Emanuel said. [ read more … ]

Lawmakers frustrated at EPA over ethanol mandate delay

By Timothy Cama, The Hill.com  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

Lawmakers vented their frustration at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday over its repeated delays of the annual ethanol mandate. The Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee’s subpanel on energy came weeks after the EPA announced that it wouldn’t make a 2014 ethanol blending requirement for fuel refiners until next year. The few representatives present at the hearing ripped into Janet McCabe, the EPA’s acting administrator for air and radiation.Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) pointed to the 2007 law creating the mandate for ethanol and the rest of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which said that each year’s volume requirements for gasoline and diesel refiners must be completed by the EPA by Nov. 30 of the prior year. [ read more … ]

Bipartisan fury rains on air chief over RFS retreat 

Robin Bravender, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

House lawmakers had little sympathy for U.S. EPA’s air chief today as she defended the agency’s punting on its renewable fuel standard. Janet McCabe, the acting administrator of EPA’s air office, was criticized from both sides of the aisle today by a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees energy policy. Republicans and Democrats alike chided McCabe for her office’s decision last month to punt the already-delayed rule mandating the amount of renewable fuel required in petroleum-based gasoline and diesel [ read more … ]

US lawmakers warn EPA official of RFS repeal if repeated delays continue

By Herman Wang, Platts  •    •  Posted December 11, 2014

Despite warnings from lawmakers that continued delays to the Renewable Fuel Standard could give momentum to efforts to reform or repeal the law, a top US Environmental Protection Agency official on Wednesday declined to say when the 2014, 2015 or 2016 rules would be issued beyond a vague pledge to complete them in the next year. “We will move as expeditiously as we can,” the EPA’s acting air chief, Janet McCabe, testified before a House of Representatives oversight subcommittee. “We are committed to getting these rules out in 2015 and meeting our deadline for the 2016 [RFS].” [ read more … ]

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