Ethanol Under Fire on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Shoulder-high stalks are seen in a corn field July 5, 2006 in Prairie View, Illinois. Despite above average precipitation this spring, a devasting drought last summer that dragged into early 2006 continues to pose a threat to crops. Last year's corn crop was able to weather the drought thanks to saved-up soil moisture, a factor experts say is missing this year. Despite the concerns, this year's crop is well ahead of last year, according to experts.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Dec. 12, 2013, 2:52 a.m.

The bio­fuels in­dustry is fa­cing polit­ic­al battles in Europe as well as the United States.

And policy is un­settled on both sides of the At­lantic.

Re­u­ters re­ports that European Uni­on en­ergy min­is­ters failed Thursday to reach an agree­ment that would lim­it use of fuels made from food crops.

“Last year in re­sponse to warn­ings about food price in­fla­tion and un­in­ten­ded con­sequences on the en­vir­on­ment, the European Com­mis­sion, the EU’s ex­ec­ut­ive, pro­posed to cap the bloc’s use of crop-based bio­fuels at 5 per­cent,” the news ser­vice re­ports.

In the U.S., mean­while, the eth­an­ol in­dustry is bat­tling a Novem­ber En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency pro­pos­al that would scale back the amount of eth­an­ol that re­finers must blend in­to gas­ol­ine next year.

The top­ic was front and cen­ter at a Sen­ate En­vir­on­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee hear­ing on Wed­nes­day.

Na­tion­al Journ­al re­ports here on planned le­gis­la­tion touted at the hear­ing that would ease the fed­er­al eth­an­ol blend­ing man­date.

Bloomberg has a dis­patch from the Sen­ate hear­ing that fo­cuses on EPA’s de­fense of its pro­pos­al. From their story:

“The En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency de­term­ined that it’s not feas­ible for gas­ol­ine re­finers to use as much eth­an­ol next year as had been man­dated, which is why the agency pro­posed eas­ing the re­quire­ment, an EPA of­fi­cial said.”

But the bio­fuels in­dustry also got some good news this week.

The Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment and the Navy an­nounced plans aimed at ex­pand­ing the Navy’s use of re­new­able fuels in jet en­gines and ships.

The Navy has for years been test­ing out the in­creased use of bio­fuels. The agen­cies said Wed­nes­day that they’re tak­ing the next step to­ward mak­ing “ad­vanced” bio­fuels—that is, not tra­di­tion­al corn eth­an­ol—a reg­u­lar part of mil­it­ary pro­cure­ment in the com­ing years.

“The an­nounce­ment in­cor­por­ates the ac­quis­i­tion of bio­fuel blends in­to reg­u­lar De­part­ment of De­fense (DOD) do­mest­ic so­li­cit­a­tions for jet en­gine and mar­ine dies­el fuels,” the Navy and Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment said in a joint re­lease.

“Today’s an­nounce­ment marks the first time al­tern­at­ive fuels such as ad­vanced drop-in bio­fuels will be avail­able for pur­chase through reg­u­lar pro­cure­ment prac­tices. It lowers bar­ri­ers for al­tern­at­ive do­mest­ic fuel sup­pli­ers to do busi­ness with DOD,” they said.

What We're Following See More »
RESPONSE TO CHARLOTTESVILLE STATEMENTS
Jewish Groups Pull Out of Call with President
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Four prominent Jewish groups announced Wednesday that they would not take part in what has become a yearly call between the President and hundreds of rabbis across the country ahead of the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September. The groups specifically cited President Donald Trump’s statements following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, saying in a statement that his remarks were 'so lacking in moral leadership and empathy for the victims of racial and religious hatred that we cannot organize such a call this year.'"

Source:
SEPTEMBER 12
Trump to Welcome Malaysia Prime Minister
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
FIRST LETTER OF PARAGRAPHS SPELL OUT “IMPEACH”
Science Advisor Resigns from Administration
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
PRESIDENT SISI TO STILL MEET
Egypt Cancels Kushner Meeting with Minister
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Egypt called off a scheduled meeting between its foreign minister and top U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday after the United States decided to withhold millions of dollars in aid. But President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would meet the U.S. delegation led by Kushner later in the day as scheduled, Sisi's office said." Washington decided to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid and delay $195 million.

Source:
“DISTURBING”
Clapper Questions Trump’s Fitness for Office
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper last night questioned President Trump's fitness for office, following the president's angry speech in Arizona. Calling the president's performance "disturbing," Clapper said, "I really question his ability to be -- his fitness to be -- in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it," Clapper said on CNN. "How much longer does the country have to, to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare?"

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login