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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 12, 2015

Senate vote today will launch weekslong energy, enviro debate 

Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

A Senate vote scheduled for this evening on whether to move forward with debating legislation to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada is expected to unleash weeks of congressional debate on a broad range of energy and environment issues. With the a promise of regular order from new Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the 5:30 p.m. roll call will be followed by a flurry of amendments on issues like energy efficiency and climate change. [ read more … ]

Oregon Adopts Low-Carbon Fuel Rule In Step Toward Pacific Coast Market

By Curt Barry, Inside EPA  •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

Oregon environmental officials have adopted rules to implement a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in the state that, if supported by state lawmakers in legislation this year, would mark a significant step toward a West Coast low-carbon fuels market anchored by California’s existing LCFS. While the state’s program still faces hurdles, if promulgated it would expand California’s market and provide producers of low-carbon biofuels additional support given uncertainties with EPA’s renewable fuels standard (RFS), which sets annual volumetric blend mandates for low-carbon biofuels. [ read more … ]

State and Federal Regulators Continue to Use Outdated Emissions Model

By Jessie Stolark, EESI  •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

In California, corn ethanol is assessed an Indirect Land Use Penalty (ILUC), based on the assumption that the RFS is a driver of land-use change and deforestation globally. The result of this penalty is that domestic cellulosic ethanol and imported Brazilian sugarcane ethanol is favored over domestic corn ethanol. Despite concerns over ILUC, there is little evidence that this is occurring, particularly in the United States. [ read more … ]

California Loses On Foie Gras, But Still Controls Ethanol And Eggs

By Daniel Fisher, Forbes Staff  •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

California can dictate how ethanol producers make products destined for the world’s eighth-largest economy, and egg farmers still have to raise their chickens in California-compliant cages if they want to sell there (in the shell; if their eggs go into frozen quiches or heat-’n’eat omelets, the cruel conditions the hen was kept in matter not). Indeed, based on the reasoning upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on California’s ethanol rules, there’s no reason the state couldn’t slap restrictions on the sale of products made by workers whose wages aren’t high enough to please California voters, or oranges whose “carbon content” is too high because they need to be shipped in from Florida. [ read more … ]

Oil Could Drive Down Ethanol Profits, but Industry Shielded

By JOSH FUNK Associated Press   •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

The cheap oil will likely cut into ethanol profits because refiners will want to pay less for the corn-based fuel additive, but the industry is somewhat shielded by a federal biofuel mandate and the need to boost octane in gasoline. Plus, ethanol producers could thrive beyond the current strong demand if exports or gasoline consumption grow more than expected. [ read more … ]

Researchers see breakthrough in building better biofuels 

Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted January 12, 2015

Learning how to control the composition of secondary cell walls is an area of intense interest among advanced biofuel researchers because the structures make up the bulk of the plant matter that is broken down into biofuels. The researchers focused on the secondary cell walls in a type of plant tissue called xylem from the Arabidopsis plant’s roots. [ read more … ]

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