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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 2, 2015

Comment: The good news on ethanol: U.S. a ‘biofuels superpower’

By Dan Morgan, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Automakers designing engines to meet tough new federal gas mileage requirements are also eying ethanol’s octane benefits. A 2014 study by research scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded that alcohol fuels such as ethanol “exhibit some key properties that make them particularly attractive for future engines.” The study said gasoline with 30 percent ethanol, or E30, could “provide clear pathways to improve fuel economy.” Such fuel is not widely available now, though, and under current EPA regulations car makers couldn’t use it to demonstrate the efficiency of their next-generation vehicles. [ read more … ]

Biofuel industry attacks bipartisan bill ending corn ethanol mandate 

Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Biofuel industry leaders slammed a proposed bill that would effectively eliminate an implicit corn ethanol mandate in the renewable fuel standard. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015,” with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) as a co-sponsor. [ read more … ]

Cruz won’t bend on RFS opposition

By Kathie Obradovich, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Don’t expect U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to shuck his opposition to the ethanol-friendly Renewable Fuel Standard when he comes to the Iowa Ag Summit next weekend. Ethanol producers in Iowa have demonstrated that there is a real demand for their product and that demand will exist without the federal government getting in the middle,” Cruz said in an interview during the Conservative Political Action Conference. Cruz has opposed the federal regulation that sets a minimum amount of renewable energy that must be blended into motor fuel. Iowa officials of both parties, including Gov. Terry Branstad, have insisted the standard is vital to the industry and have bitterly opposed a move by the Obama administration to roll it back. [ read more … ]

G.O.P. Race Starts in Lavish Haunts of Rich Donors

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and JONATHAN MARTIN, New York Times  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Some of the gatherings are expressly intended to bring candidates in line with the policy positions of donors on issues like government spending and foreign policy. While Mr. Rastetter’s agriculture forum will cover a range of issues, much of the advocacy surrounding the event, including a “V.I.P. press reception” featuring Iowa’s Republican governor, is aimed at pushing the candidates to support the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is coveted by the ethanol industry. [ read more … ]

Small ethanol plants battle for edge

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

When the plant resumes corn-based production this year, it will be the first ethanol producer to apply an energy-saving technology from Yield and Capacity Group (YCG) of Clear Lake, Iowa, that promises to cut electric and natural gas bills by more than $800,000 annually. “It is a huge savings,” said Jed Latkin, CFO of West Ventures, an affiliate of Platinum Partners, the New York hedge fund that was a lender to the Buffalo Lake plant, but ended up owning it after the plant’s 2012 bankruptcy. Latkin said the fund has invested $28 million in the plant. [ read more … ]

Farmers ‘bale out’ to ethanol

By KAREN SCHWALLER, Fort Dodge Messenger  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

“We (contracted) about 200,000 acres last year, and when the plant’s up to full capacity we’ll be up around that 300,000-acre mark,” Schany said. “We’ve contracted about 400 producers in an area from Everly to Britt, and from Jackson to Storm Lake.” He said their buying area will most likely shrink over time as more producers become comfortable with it and get on board. [ read more … ]

Kansas wind, ethanol industries ride through a rough patch ahead

BY DAN VOORHIS, Wichita Eagle  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Kansas has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” but why limit ourselves? We have lots of wind. We have lots of sun. We have lots of grain for ethanol. Renewable sources of energy are big business in Kansas. The sector, largely ethanol and wind, make up about 10 percent of the energy consumed in all forms by Kansans, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. [ read more … ]

New study links ultrafine particulates in gasoline  to heart disease

By Urban Air Initiative  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

The study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives link unregulated ultrafine particulates (UFP’s) from vehicle emissions to heart disease. After reviewing the study, its data shows a higher percentage of UFP’s are associated to gasoline over diesel. [ read more … ]

RFS Roundup: ‘Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act’ Reintroduced, Industry Responds

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

On February 26, Sens. Feinstein (D-CA) and Toomey (R-PA) reintroduced the ‘Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015,’ that would remove corn ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), despite the fact that there is no specific language mandating the use of corn ethanol in the law. The bill was attached as an amendment to the Keystone XL bill (S.1), but was not brought to a vote. Sen. Flake (R-AZ) is a co-sponsor. Other lawmakers, such as Sen. Lankford (R-OK) have expressed interest in “reforming” the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). [ read more … ]

Agriculture secretary champions the biofuels industry

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted March 2, 2015

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sees near-boundless opportunities for the U.S. biofuels industry to expand its market both inside the nation and around the globe. But he insists the key to that growth is moving beyond traditional ethanol and a 10-year-old government renewable fuel mandate to embrace exports and airlines’ demand for cleaner-burning alternatives – while also beating back steep oil industry opposition. “I’m very optimistic about the future of the bio-economy and the role biofuels and advanced biofuels will play in that future.” [ read more … ]

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