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Energy

Could big changes be in store for ethanol mandate and Renewable Fuel Standard?

One presidential candidate reportedly sought advice from a California agency of how to alter the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which sets mandates on the supply of ethanol in our gasoline. Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was called out in a federal report for failing to meet its statutory reporting requirements under the RFS. Both events in August add fuel to the flames of an already divisive topic pitting certain biofuel producers against consumers – such as boaters – who say ethanol is bad for their engines.

Grid study finds new transmission could further cut costs, emissions

A recent study highlighting the renewable energy capacity of the eastern power grid found adding new transmission capacity can help further cut costs and emissions.  the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found the grid serving the eastern half of the U.S. is technically capable of integrating enough wind and solar power into the system to meet 30 percent of the region's yearly energy needs.

Judge Puts Hold on Plan to Open California Lands to Fracking

A federal judge on Tuesday tentatively rejected a plan by the federal Bureau of Land Management to open more than 1,500 square miles of lands in central California to oil drilling and fracking.  The BLM failed to take a "hard look" at the environmental effects of the estimated 25 percent of new wells that would be devoted to fracking, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald wrote in the ruling.

Ohio University receives $2 million grant for coal-impacted communities

Ohio University has received a $2 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportun­ities and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program to create a 28-county regional innovation network in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.  The goal of the program is to create 125 new businesses and 1,110 jobs and raise $25 million in company investments from public and private sources over the next six years.

Ohio Supreme Court strikes down challenge to wind-farm approval

The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a challenge of the way state officials approved a wind farm in Champaign County.  In a unanimous ruling released on Wednesday, the court found that the Ohio Power Siting Board was proper in the way it approved revisions to a proposal for the Buckeye I wind farm. But there remains a separate pending appeal that is delaying construction of the project.

New York proposes updated fuel regulations allowing for E15

On Aug. 24, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets published a proposed rule in the New York State Register proposing to update the statement’s fuel regulations to allow for the sale of E15 in model year 2001 and newer vehicles.  In addition for allowing for the sale of E15 blends, the proposed rule also includes a provision that will require ethanol blends to comply with certain labeling requirements required by federal regulation.

EPA to shut some Oklahoma wastewater wells after quake

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will order wastewater disposal wells shut near the epicenter of a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck on Saturday around Pawnee, Oklahoma.  The quake was one of the strongest ever to hit the state and prompted its oil and gas regulator, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, to order 37 disposal wells shut in a 725-square-mile (1,878-sq-km) area around Pawnee.  It also asked the EPA to help shut disposal wells in a 211 square-mile (546.49-sq-km) area of Osage County because the OCC lacked jurisdiction there.

Rhode Island sues 34 oil companies for contaminating groundwater with MTBE

 The state has filed suit in federal court against nearly three dozen oil companies for contaminating groundwater with the gasoline additive MTBE that was used to boost engine performance until it was banned in Rhode Island in 2007.  The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Attorney General Peter F.

Oil downturn ripples through city finances in New Mexico

Hard times are turning more worrisome for cities and small towns in the heart of New Mexico oil and natural gas territory as state officials contemplate reclaiming dollars pledged to local construction projects to help fill a budget gap.  New Mexico is confronting a $458 million budget shortfall this fiscal year because of weak prices in the oil and natural gas sectors and slow growth in other areas of the economy.  State finance and legislative officials have begun compiling a list of incomplete public works projects that might be deauthorized.

Clean Energy Jobs Are Exploding in America.

The solar industry alone has created one out of every 80 jobs in the United States since the Great Recession. When including wind, LED lighting, and other clean energy categories, that number could be close to one in 33.

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