Please add the Governors' Biofuels Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 19, 2015

EPA Defends Controversial Biofuels Program at Senate Hearing

By Reuters  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

The U.S. environmental regulator on Thursday defended its handling of the nation’s controversial renewable fuels program at a congressional hearing, the first since its new biofuels targets last month provoked a furor among corn farmers and oil refiners. At the hearing by the Senate subcommittee on regulatory affairs and federal management, U.S. lawmakers criticized the agency for years-long delays to quotas and for last month setting unattainable targets for the amount of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels that must be used in the nation’s motor fuel supply over the next two years.
[ read more … ]

EPA faces bipartisan barrage questioning legality of RFS proposal

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

Senators on both sides of the aisle today used a hearing on the renewable fuel standard to question the legality of U.S. EPA’s recent proposal to set multiyear targets for the standard, or RFS. At issue: EPA’s attempt to include in the RFS program the “blend wall,” infrastructure problems that inhibit distribution of gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol to consumers. [ read more … ]

Brazil’s Petrobras mulls sale of ethanol plants -sources

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras is looking to sell some of its biofuel assets as it tries to raise cash to cover investment for new offshore oilfields and service its debt, two sources told Reuters on Wednesday. The company, whose $125 billion of debt is the biggest of any oil company and the third-largest of any non-financial enterprise, plans to sell as much as $13.7 billion of assets by the end of 2016. [ read more … ]

Papal Encyclical Heartens Proponents of Fossil-Fuel Divestment

By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

The word “divestment” is nowhere to be found in the nearly 200 pages of the papal encyclical released Thursday, but by addressing the threat of climate change in such a forceful way, Pope Francis is likely to add momentum to the movement by big institutions to sell holdings tied to fossil-fuel stocks. “For activists who have been laboring for decades to elicit a courageous response from the world’s governments and leading institutions, the pope’s statement is a godsend,” said Bob Massie, a longtime environmental activist and proponent of divestment who is also an Episcopal priest.
[ read more … ]

Pope Francis Aligns Himself With Mainstream Science on Climate

By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

The new papal encyclical on the environment is a ringing call to action, a critique of consumerism and a prophetic warning about the dangers of ignoring what Pope Francis calls “the ecological crisis.” But amid all his soaring rhetoric, did the pope get the science right? The short answer from climate and environmental scientists is that he did, at least to the degree possible in a religious document meant for a broad audience. If anything, they say, he may have bent over backward to offer a cautious interpretation of the scientific facts. [ read more … ]

Pulmonologist, risk analyst clash over EPA ozone proposal in House hearing 

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted June 19, 2015

A House hearing on air pollution turned contentious yesterday as two scientists attempted to sway lawmakers on the potential benefits — or lack thereof — of curbing ground-level ozone.
A risk analyst appearing for Republicans said reductions in smog-forming gas have not led to any public health improvements. Louis Anthony Cox, president of Denver-based Cox Associates, accused U.S. EPA of using subjective judgments and inaccurate models to conclude its proposal to tighten the current standard would save lives and lead to health benefits. But Gregory Diette, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, countered that scientific evidence has grown stronger in recent years to support the need for a tighter standard. [ read more … ]

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