The Environmental Working Group's hard-hitting energy investigations hold energy producers accountable and point the way toward conservation and cleaner energy. EWG scrutinizes drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil, use of ethanol to power vehicles, wood-burning electricity generation, uranium mining and nuclear power.
The Iowa caucuses are more than a year away but potential 2012 presidential hopefuls are already parachuting into corn country to pander to Big Ag. Perennially coy Newt Gingrich is only the latest to genuflect before Iowa’s long reigning monarch – King Corn. Delivering the keynote address at the Renewable Fuels Association summit (Jan. 25), the former Republican Speaker of the House (Speaker’s Bureau fee listed at $40,000+) and tax cutting champion called for continued mandates and support for the 30-year old corn ethanol industry.Read More
President Barak Obama’s call to “stop subsidizing yesterday’s energy” in his State of the Union speech last night was welcome, but the President missed an opportunity to focus attention on the misguided federal subsidies that prop up the corn ethanol industry and the equally expensive and wasteful subsidies paid to farmers.Read More
Here’s who lost out today (Jan. 21) when the Environmental Protection Agency decided to allow the use of fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) in any gas-powered car or truck built since 2001:
- Car owners whose engines and catalytic converters may be damaged even as auto makers void their warranties.
- Owners of lawnmowers, outboard motors, chain saws, ATVs and a host of other outdoor tools whose engines will break down if they’re fueled with E15.
- The environment, as this misguided policy encourages all-out corn production and the massive water pollution that results, ultimately reinforcing the devastating “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay.
- Birds and other wildlife, which will lose habitat as large-scale farmers expand into marginal and highly erodible land.
A group of corn ethanol producers is mounting an aggressive campaign they call their “Fueling Freedom Plan” that would have taxpayers spend scarce resources on biofuels pipelines, gas station pumps and other infrastructure development in order to put ethanol on “a level playing field” with gasoline – and into the tank of every engine in America.Read More
EWG objects to EPA decision to allow sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) in flexible-fuel or 2007 and newer vehicles. The gasoline-ethanol mix can damage older vehicles and small engines.Read More
Ok, our list of the "worst" environmental stories of the year was a bit of a downer. So here are EWG's Top 10 good environmental news stories.Read More
We polled our staff to see what stories they thought had the biggest impact, for better or worse. Here are the results:Read More
Whether it’s from flood, fire or a tornado, there are few more devastating events than losing a home. But it’s hard to equal the shock of having your house suddenly just blow up.Read More
Rumors are flying that the lame duck Congress will attach an extension of the so-called ethanol “blender’s tax credit” to a bill to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts as part of a broader deal. Here are the Top 10 reasons – based on previously released EWG research – why Congress should say no to the tax credit extension.Read More
On Wednesday (Dec 1), 15 senators from Corn Belt states sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell asking them to extend the ethanol tax credits and tariff protection that expire at the end of the month.Read More
Tea party backers, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, and the bulk of the U.S. meat and dairy industry joined forces today, calling on Congressional leaders to eliminate a wasteful taxpayer-funded subsidy that largely lines the pockets of companies that blend ethanol with fuel, including BP, Shell and Chevron. Go here to read the letter asking Congress to roll back support for corn ethanol from 59 groups.Read More
EWG joins a diverse group of business associations, hunger and development organizations, taxpayer advocates, agricultural groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks and public interest organizations to urge an end to the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.Read More
This month’s election is being called a referendum on taxpayer-funded bailouts and wasteful federal spending, but Congress may not have gotten the message. It’s poised to approve billions in additional federal subsidies to the corn ethanol industry in the lame duck session that began this week.Read More
Eight years ago, there were 61 plants producing ethanol to blend with gasoline in the United States; today there are about 200. Eight years ago, 13 percent of those plants used a feedstock other than corn; today, just 5 percent rely on alternatives like wood waste, sugar cane or cheese whey.Read More
Eight years ago, the ethanol industry was keeping up the pretence that corn ethanol was a “bridge” to advanced biofuels. But figures like these, derived from the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) own Annual Industry Outlook, tell a different story.Read More
Pro sports teams regularly use signing bonuses to lure the star athletes they want. Now some Texas school districts are taking the bait, too.Read More
Even as it announced several initiatives to promote development of advanced biofuels, the Obama Administration made clear Thursday (Oct. 21) that it’s not prepared to let go of corn ethanol and other first-generation fuels whose existence relies heavily on expensive tax breaks and tariffs.Read More
Hopes for comprehensive legislation to combat climate pollution evaporated Thursday (July 22) after months of wrangling in the Senate. In its place Senate leaders are proposing what is being billed as an “oil-spill only” bill with a few added energy provisions.Read More
As AgMag noted the other day, Massachusetts has decided to rewrite its rules for renewable energy to exclude electric-only power plants that would burn biomass, often in the form of whole trees. Ian A.Read More