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Biofuels

EWG’s research exposes the false promise of powering cars with corn ethanol and producing electricity by burning trees.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In an bid to garner support for legislation to address the looming danger of climate change, Midwest senators are reportedly pressing to attach a long-term extension of biofuel tax breaks to a Senate energy bill being crafted by Democratic leaders. The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), currently set to expire on Dec. 31, pays oil companies $0.45 per gallon in the form of tax credits to blend ethanol with gasoline.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, July 12, 2010

Last week began with a front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle (July 5) detailing the links between increased fertilizer run-off due to corn ethanol production in the Mississippi River Basin to the swelling Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

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AgMag
Article
Friday, July 9, 2010

In a sharp about-face, Massachusetts officials have decided that biomass-fueled, electric-only power plants do not qualify as renewable energy sources because of the growing awareness that these facilities actually boost greenhouse emissions for decades, rather than helping to combat global warming.

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AgMag
Article
Friday, July 2, 2010

2010 won’t be all lemons for BP. Sure, the company will be best remembered for blowout preventers, top kill and Tony Hayward, but along the way the oil giant stands to make a killing from its investment in the US ethanol industry and the special tax breaks that come with it. In fact, the company could pull in well over half a billion dollars in ’10 alone, courtesy of the US taxpayer.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life would be so much easier for biomass industry executives if they didn’t have to worry about their own words.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From Maine to Washington state, from Ohio to Florida, electric utilities have been embracing “biomass power” as a way to reduce dependence on coal and other fossil fuels and to meet ambitious goals for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. And both state energy policies and the pending federal climate and energy legislation are designed to encourage the trend by providing huge incentives.

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

At least 30 million acres of America’s forests could be cut down and used for fuel at US power plants if renewable fuels and biomass provisions of current Congressional climate and energy proposals aren’t radically revised. This will send a massive 4.7 billion ton pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that would accelerate global warming as it drastically erodes forests’ ability to pull carbon out the atmosphere.

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. – At least 30 million acres of America's forests could be cut down and used for fuel at US power plants if renewable fuels and biomass provisions of current Congressional climate and energy proposals aren't radically revised. This will send a massive 4.7 billion ton pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that would accelerate global warming as it drastically erodes forests' ability to pull carbon out the atmosphere.

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News Release
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. taxpayers spent a whopping $17 billion to subsidize corn-ethanol blends in gasoline. What did they get in return? A reduction in overall oil consumption equal to an unimpressive 1.1 mile-per-gallon increase in fleet-wide fuel economy. Worse, ethanol’s much ballyhooed contribution to reducing America’s dependence on imported oil looks even smaller – the equivalent to a measly six-tenths of a mile per gallon fleet-wide.

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WASHINGTON – June 15, 2010. Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. taxpayers spent a whopping $17 billion to subsidize corn ethanol blends in gasoline. What did they get in return? A reduction in overall oil consumption equal to an unimpressive 1.1 mile-per-gallon increase in fleet-wide fuel economy. Worse, ethanol’s much ballyhooed contribution to reducing America’s dependence on imported oil looks even smaller – the equivalent to a measly six tenths of a mile per gallon fleet-wide.

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News Release
Monday, June 14, 2010

Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. taxpayers spent a whopping $17 billion to subsidize corn ethanol blends in gasoline. What did they get in return? A reduction in overall oil consumption equal to an unimpressive 1.1 mile-per-gallon increase in fleet-wide fuel economy.

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AgMag
Article
Friday, April 16, 2010

On several counts, a recent Rochester Institute of Technology study ( March 29) hailed by the corn ethanol lobby falls short of bringing reliable science to the ethanol blend debate. With a glut of ethanol on their hands, the ethanol industry hopes to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline by 50 percent.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, April 12, 2010

The surest way to ensure that second-generation advanced biofuels remain in their test tubes and never see the spark of an engine is to pass a piece of legislation recently introduced (Feb. 14) by Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa).

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Government researchers have announced a promising technological development that may turn the ethanol industry on its head.  In a joint press conference this morning (April 1), top scientists from Growth Energy, joined by representatives of the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Treasury Department, gathered to brief the media on a new enzyme, dubbed 'simoleonase,' that could radically change the biofuels landscape.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not so long ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did a new life-cycle analysis of corn ethanol to see if the much-subsidized biofuel meets the standard Congress set in the 2007 Energy Bill for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, February 11, 2010

The third in AgMag’s series of looks at the Obama budget is a hopeful one. First we examined attempts by the Administration to limit the taxpayer-funded payments that ensure profits for the wealthiest farm operations. That idea was instantly stonewalled by Minnesota’s powerful Congressional delegation, which has the Minneapolis City Pages fuming.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

 

By Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President and manager of EWG’s Ames, Iowa, branch. On Wednesday (Feb. 3), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Rule, known as RFS 2, refusing to shift policy on one of the issues most contested by the ethanol industry, the “indirect land use change” rule.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, February 1, 2010

 

On Jan. 25, the Le Mars Daily Sentinel reported on growing concerns over Iowa's diminished wild bird population, specifically the ring-necked pheasant: "Last year and this year have been tough," said Chad Morrow, conservation officer with Iowa [Department of Natural Resources] for Plymouth County and part of Cherokee County. "But for pheasants, the true limiting factor comes down to the amount of habitat first; weather is a secondary factor."

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“Our research shows that native grassland is being converted into cropland at an alarming rate throughout the Prairie Pothole Region,” said Greg Fogel, study co-author and MS/MPP candidate at the University of Michigan. “As a result, populations of sensitive wildlife species are declining significantly in areas with high increases in corn plantings.” According to the report, U.S. ethanol capacity has grown almost 200 percent since the passage of the 2005 Energy Bill, which mandated a large increase in domestic ethanol production. In addition, the updated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), passed in 2007, requires corn ethanol production to increase from 10.57 billion gallons in 2009 to 15 billion in 2015.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, January 11, 2010

The word hypocrisy gets tossed around a lot in Washington, where money and power masquerade as character and values. Rarely does the hypocrisy reach such craven heights, however, as a recent request from the leading ethanol trade group, Growth Energy.

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AgMag
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