By Javier E. David Imagine a world where leftover corn, wheat and wood chips can be used to power your car. That’s the aim of cellulosic ethanol, a budding sector of the renewable fuel industry that finds itself struggling to reassert itself in a world of renewed popularity for oil and gas. The process aims… Keep reading →
It’s been a long road, but the government-backed ZeaChem cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in Oregon is finally turning out fuel.
The company announced the step this week, calling the Boardman plant “among the first operational cellulosic biorefineries in the world.” It’s a bit of good news in the seemingly illusory realm of ethanol made from non-food feedstocks, which have been slow to fulfill their promise of extricating the industry from the food vs. fuels debate. Keep reading →
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal policy requiring that ethanol be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply at annually increasing amounts, has been touted by the biofuels industry as the solution to a myriad of energy woes. But in the seven years since the policy was enacted, the RFS has failed to meet its goals of protecting the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil. It has and is forcing Americans to pay more for fuel, and it has raised food prices around the world. And yet, ethanol lobbying groups continue to argue on behalf of the policy, armed with an array of invalid claims:
Myth: “Oil is the cause of casualties abroad and economic volatility at home.” Keep reading →
There is a contentious debate underway regarding mandated ethanol blending into gasoline that touches on issues like food versus fuel and the sanctity of free markets. The severe drought that hit the US this past summer reduced corn crop yields – a major ethanol feedstock – and sparked calls for a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard that reportedly uses some 40% of the US corn crop to produce ethanol.
When Breaking Energy recently sat down with two industry analysts and asked them about mandated ethanol blending, we received decidedly anti-RFS viewpoints. In this video, David Rewcastle, Senior Energy Analyst with Source Capital Group and Michael Lynch, President and Director of Global Petroleum Service with Strategic Energy Economic Research explain why government-mandated ethanol blending into gasoline is flawed and suggest how the system might be improved. Keep reading →
The American Petroleum Institute recently renewed its attack on the US government’s Renewable Fuels Standard after the Environmental Protection Agency said it would not waive the requirement that uses some 40 percent of the US corn crop to make ethanol.
The main oil and gas trade association said the RFS, which is designed to blend increasing amounts of ethanol with gasoline, is “increasingly unrealistic and unworkable” because it has been adopted without regard for its compatibility with some vehicles, and if fully implemented would exceed what API says is the maximum safe limit of 10 percent in gasoline. Keep reading →
As livestock farmers call on the EPA to waive its requirement for corn ethanol production in response to this year’s U.S. drought, a leading renewable fuels producer is urging the government to resist the pressure, saying a waiver of the corn mandate could undermine confidence in other biofuels, and even result in higher food prices.
Renewable Energy Group, the largest U.S. producer of biodiesel, argues that any easing of the corn-ethanol requirement would create uncertainty for all biofuels, raising concerns in the industry about the sustainability of market demand. Keep reading →
Could the United States cut its energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing incentives for the use of low-carbon fuels – while still allowing everyone to use whichever fuels they want?
The National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Project says a policy encouraging the use of electricity, hydrogen, and biomass feedstock for transportation fuels would be feasible, timely, and eminently justified. Keep reading →