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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 30, 2015

Former EPA official says EPA bluffed automakers at fuel efficiency talks

By David Shepardson, Detroit News Washington Bureau  •    •  Posted March 28, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency asked automakers to hike fuel efficiency standards by 5 percent a year for trucks and SUVs in 2011 talks — even though the agency privately didn’t think it was realistic and had no intention of pushing, a new book says. Margo Oge, who headed the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality during fuel economy talks with automakers, discloses new details in her new book: “Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars” published this month by Arcade Publishing. In 2011,the EPA initially asked automakers for 5 percent increases in fuel efficiency for light trucks starting in 2017 but Oge says the agency wasn’t serious about it. After EPA and NHTSA agreed by April to a 40 percent hike in fuel standards to 35.5 mpg, they invited GM’s then top environmental official, Beth Lowery, to the White House to discuss the plan on April 21. GM ultimately agreed to support the deal after it won credits for building vehicles that can run on mostly ethanol. [ read more … ]

Research Finds Widespread Use of E15 Would Reduce CO2 Emissions

By Jessie Stolark, EESI  •    •  Posted March 30, 2015

On March 18, Dr. Steffen Mueller, Principal Research Economist of the Energy Resources Center and Director of the Agriculture and Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Illinois, released an analysis of the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of moving from the standard E10 blend (10 percent ethanol, 90 percent gasoline) to an E15 blend (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline). According to Dr. Mueller, if just seven states (IA, IL, KS, NC, OH, MI, WI) transitioned to exclusive use of E15 instead of E10, an additional 3.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would be avoided annually (this would be equivalent to taking 700,000 cars off the road) [ read more … ]

U.S. a net ethanol exporter for 5th straight year

By Grand Island Independent  •    •  Posted March 30, 2015

According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly supply data through December 2014, which was released in late February, U.S. exports of fuel ethanol in 2014 reached their second-highest level at a total of 826 million gallons. This level was second only to the 1.2 billion gallons exported during 2011 and 33 percent more than exports of fuel ethanol in 2013.
[ read more … ]

Proposed Pacific free-trade agreement gets mostly thumbs-up in Nebraska, Iowa

By Russell Hubbard, Omaha World-Herald staff writer  •    •  Posted March 30, 2015

So it’s no surprise that foreign trade is emerging once again as a major topic in Nebraska ag circles. Under negotiation is a prospective free-trade pact to rival the North American Free Trade Agreement, this one called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It involves 12 Asian, Pacific and North and South American countries, and it would lower and then remove trade barriers, making Nebraska beef, corn and soybeans cheaper for consumers in those nations. “A liberalization of trade barriers would be hugely beneficial to our industry,” said Jim Stark, the company’s head of investor relations. “We are very keen on finding new markets.” [ read more … ]

Exports helping Nebraska’s ethanol industry to grow

By Robert Pore, Grand Island Independent  •    •  Posted March 30, 2015

According to Steve Sorem, project manager for the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the industry’s expansion of the exports of distillers grains is “huge.” “It has had a price impact on distillers grain,” he said. For many years, Sorem said, the price of corn and distillers grain has run a parallel track. But with the increase in distillers grain exports, the price is higher than it has been. [ read more … ]

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