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The renewable fuel standard works for rural America and our economy

Political posturing from a small segment of the petroleum industry has the Trump administration considering damaging changes to our most successful American energy policies that we’ve seen in decades: the renewable fuel standard. The RFS was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush more than a decade ago, provides an avenue for domestic biofuels producers to gain access to the U.S. transportation fuels market, which has been monopolized by the petroleum industry for more than a century. The results of the program have been impressive.

Trump to put biofuel reform push on ice, for now

The Trump administration will delay any moves to reform the nation’s biofuel policy for about three months, according to three sources briefed on the matter - a decision one of the sources said was meant to shield farmers worried about a potential trade war with China. The decision comes after President Donald Trump failed to broker a deal between Big Oil and Big Corn during meetings over months about the future of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard - a law broadly supported in the U.S. heartland that requires oil refiners to add biofuels like ethanol to the nation’s gasoline.

Annual wind energy report shows record energy production

fter strong growth in 2017, wind power now supplies more than 30% of electricity in four states and more than 10% in 14 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s newly released U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017, which shows that the industry now employs a record 105,500 men and women across all 50 states. Notably, New Mexico added wind capacity at a faster rate than any other state in 2017.  According to AWEA, wind power generated a record 6.3% of U.S.

The economic impacts of the regional greenhouse gas intiative on nine Northeast and Mid Atlantic Statestl

In 2009, ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states launched the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), the country’s first market-based program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) from existing and new power plants.1 The scope of RGGI is significant: the current set of RGGI states account for more than one-eighth of the population in the U.S. and more than one-seventh of the nation’s gross domestic product. It is thus important to evaluate and understand the program’s performance and outcomes.

Parents Didn’t Want Fracking Near Their School. So the Oil Company Chose a Poorer School, Instead.

Back in 2013, the company Mineral Resources was granted a permit to drill a few hundred feet from Frontier Academy, a majority white charter school in Greeley, Colorado. But after parents and neighborhood residents strongly resisted, the project was delayed. The following year, the Denver-based energy company Extraction Oil and Gas acquired Mineral Resources and abandoned the plans to frack near Frontier Academy. The site, Extraction explained in an internal analysis, was “not preferable” for oil and gas development because of its proximity to the school and its playground.

OIL INDUSTRY, OIL-STATE LAWMAKERS WANT RFS GONE

Petroleum refiners made it clear they would like to see the Renewable Fuel Standard go away.  American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association CEO Chet Thompson testified Friday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on a proposal to change America’s octane standards.  “Sunsetting the RFS and transitioning to a 95 RON performance standard would end mandates, reduce overall compliance burdens, and provide achievable regulatory targets.” Growth Energy’s Emily Skor testified in favor of higher octane but insisted the RFS needs to be a part of that.  “Ninety-five RON is a 91

Despite support from Trump, EPA continues to examine 15% blend

Although President Donald Trump made clear on Thursday his support for granting a waiver to allow year-round sales of E15, the EPA told DTN on Friday the agency hasn't yet made a decision on E15. E15 fuel is a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% of gasoline.  At a White House meeting Thursday focusing on agriculture and trade, Trump said his administration will approve E15.

The Keystone Pipeline oil spill was nearly twice as big as TransCanada said

In November, the Keystone Pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of barrels of highly-polluting tar sands oil, leaving a visible stain across a swath of South Dakota farmland. It came at an inopportune time: four days before a Nebraska commission was set to vote to approve an extension of that pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would move 830,000 extra barrels of oil per day through the Midwest to refineries in Texas and Illinois.

Rising Costs, Not Natural Gas, Main Driver of Coal Mine Closures

A new study finds rising production costs, not cheap natural gas, was the lead factor that drove thousands of coal mines across Appalachia to close. The analysis, published last week by the nonpartisan, environmental think tank, Resources for the Future, scrutinized the impact that natural gas prices, stagnant electricity demand and rising costs had on the ability of coal mines to stay in business.  The researchers created a model that allowed them to study different factors that affected the profitability of coal mines using public data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S.

Illinois town leases 20 acres of city owned land for solar

A divided Lacon City Council tentatively agreed Monday night.to lease 20 acres of city-owned farmland for 35 years to a solar energy developer that has never addressed or met with the council. The panel voted 3-2, with one abstaining, to move forward toward finalizing an agreement with Minnesota-based Solar Energy Ventures in a contract expected to come up for a final vote next month.The company would pay the city $1,300 an acre per year for the 2 megawatt installation, for a total of about $1.3 million over the life of the contract, said Acting Mayor John Wabel,

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