Category Archives: Biofuels & Climate Change

How Much Corn Is in a Barrel of Oil?

A segment on the Discovery Channel’s show “How Stuff Works” caught my eye this week and prompted that question. The segment points out that Xanthan gum, fermented from corn syrup, is used in oil drilling. Xanthan is combined with the drilling mud used to cool drilling equipment, and it helps to clear dirt and rock from the mud as well as maintain a pressure cap on the bore hole. The primary markets for Xanthan gum Read More >

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Discounting the Future of Biofuels

It appears that global leaders’ faith in energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to oil is waning, particularly for biofuels, as reported in GreenInc. Respondents to the survey, which included 1,000 environmental experts, ranked energy conservation and efficiency technologies as having the greatest potential impact, both short- and long-term. Some 44 percent of respondents also said they expect that the current economic crisis will hinder progress toward an effective international climate agreement. Read More >

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EPA Continues to Move Toward Calculation of Indirect GHGs

Dr. Bruce Dale of Michigan State University published a Commentary in the Washington Times on Nov. 26, calling for sound science in development of the EPA’s rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Dr. Dale points out, “No actual data exist that connect U.S. domestic ethanol production with, to cite a widely quoted example, the clearing of the Amazon rain forest. Instead, the paper’s conclusions depend entirely on economic modeling and assumptions.” He then discusses his Read More >

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Senators Weigh In on EPA Rules

On Monday Nov. 17, six U.S. Senators sent a new letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson echoing a proposal that BIO previously made. BIO earlier called on EPA to release its proposed methodology for measuring greenhouse gas emissions during the rule’s comment period, but withholding conclusions on specific levels of reductions achieved by particular biofuels until the methodology was complete. The Senators’ letter states: The methodology ultimately used by EPA in crafting this program will Read More >

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Environmental Groups Pressure EPA to Calculate Indirect Emissions

The latest salvos on the EPA’s rulemaking process for the Renewable Fuel Standard come from six major environmental groups – the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Environmental Working Group – and academics at the University of California Berkeley. In their letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, the environmental groups argue that delaying conclusions about which biofuels make the grade under the Read More >

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