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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 2, 2015

New Report Calls for Significant Roll-Back on Global Bioenergy Policies

By Jessie Stolark, EESI  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

And while it’s true that global hunger is a growing crisis, the world already produces enough calories for 9 billion people – suggesting the global hunger problem is more a problem of farmer equity and food distribution than production capacity. Additionally, a growing body of peer reviewed research has found synergies between purpose-grown biomass crops and improved soil carbon. Given the wide ranging findings and assumptions the paper makes about the carbon cycle, forestry, food production and biofuels policies, EESI will be conducting a review of the findings and assumptions in the working paper, to be released in the next edition of SBFF. [ read more … ]

Ethanol industry gets its own biotech corn

By DAVID SHAFFER , Minneapolis Star Tribune   •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

Some ethanol makers are cheering a new biotech corn engineered strictly to produce biofuel. Six Midwestern ethanol plants now use the hybrid called Enogen, the first corn genetically enhanced for ethanol production. Seven other ethanol makers, including Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. in Benson, Minn., are trying it out. “Enogen technology is truly a unique advancement in our industry,” said Mick Miller, general manager of Denco II, a farmer-owned ethanol plant in Morris, Minn., that did a trial run with the ethanol-tailored corn. [ read more … ]

Ethanol Industry Bashes Obama for the Stalled RFS

Market-to-Market, Iowa Public Television  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

Politicians and biofuel industry leaders gathered in Iowa this week to discuss the outlook for renewable fuels. Those in attendance wasted little time before jumping on the high octane topic of the Renewable Fuels Standard, more commonly known as the RFS. [ read more … ]

Scott Walker will be expected to take a stand on ethanol for Iowa push

By Patrick Marley and Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

The GOP governor has declined to take a position, saying last year he wanted to strike a “careful balance” on the issue that — when higher amounts of ethanol are proposed — pits grain farmers and the ethanol industry against other interests, including Milwaukee engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton Co. and the outdoor power equipment industry. [ read more … ]

Will Biofuels Be Foreign Investment Golden Egg or Cooked Goose?

By Ryan Fitzpatrick, Third Way, Roll Call  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

Less than a month after the president spoke on FDI, EPA issued a proposal to adjust the way it administers the Renewable Fuel Standard, effectively eliminating the growth potential for second generation biofuels. The loss of market certainty sent shockwaves through the investment community and quickly dried up interest in this promising sector. EPA announced last November that it would delay a decision on its controversial proposal until 2015, perhaps recognizing the damage it was inflicting. But foreign investors appear to be waiting for the Obama administration to recommit to the RFS before they pour more cash into U.S. biofuels. [ read more … ]

Climate Change’s Bottom Line

By BURT HELM, New York Times  •    •  Posted February 1, 2015

On Jan. 23, the group released the second chapter of the Risky Business project, focused on the effects on the Midwest: “Heat in the Heartland.” A report on California is next. With $1.7 million in grants from the MacArthur Foundation and others, the group is hiring a full-time staff. The group is led by three men: Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire whose super PAC spent $73 million last year attacking Republicans who denied climate change and promoting awareness of the issue; Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs and the Treasury secretary under President George W. Bush; and Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City’s former mayor and the billionaire founder of the financial information company Bloomberg L.P. Each spent $500,000 to commission the Risky Business research and each has his own particular goals for the initiative, all of which would be served by making the climate threat feel real, immediate and potentially devastating to the business world. [ read more … ]

Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds

By CORAL DAVENPORT and MARJORIE CONNELLY, New York Times  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford Universityand the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.
[ read more … ]

Deere Downturn: Is Ethanol to Blame?

By PAT BLANK, Iowa Public Radio  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

IPR’s Pat Blank talks with University of Northern Iowa Economics Professor Fred Abraham. They discuss how the interest in ethanol production evolved into a lack of demand for new agricultural machinery. [ read more … ]

Comment: Biofuels part of America’s energy solution

By John Sedbrook, Illinois State University, Chicago Sun Times  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

Right now, the United States is dependent upon petroleum, and petroleum prices are not stable. This can wreak havoc on our economy. And no matter how much oil is produced domestically, petroleum prices are dictated by world supplies. The bottom line is that we will never be energy-independent when it comes to petroleum. We need to diversify our energy portfolio to limit risk and volatility. [ read more … ]

EPA defends program for Argentinian biodiesel amid industry backlash 

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted February 2, 2015

U.S. EPA is defending its approval earlier this week of a program for Argentinian imports of biodiesel against withering criticism by the U.S. biodiesel industry. In a sit-down interview with Greenwire, EPA senior adviser Paul Argyropoulos called the program “more rigorous” than systems in place in other countries for biodiesel producers. [ read more … ]

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