<body> --------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive »
Nature Blog Network

    Scania will introduce an ethanol-fueled hybrid bus concept at the UITP public transport congress in Helsinki 21-24 May 2007. The full-size low-floor city bus is designed to cut fossil CO2 emissions by up to 90% when running on the ethanol blend and reduce fuel consumption by at least 25%. GreenCarCongress - May 16, 2007.

    A report by the NGO Christian Aid predicts there may be 1 billion climate refugees and migrants by 2050. It shows the effects of conflicts on populations in poor countries and draws parallels with the situation as it could develop because of climate change. Christian Aid - May 14, 2007.

    Dutch multinational oil group Rompetrol, also known as TRG, has entered the biofuel market in France in conjunction with its French subsidiary Dyneff. It hopes to equip approximately 30 filling stations to provide superethanol E85 distribution to French consumers by the end of 2007. Energy Business Review - May 13, 2007.

    A group of British organisations launches the National Forum on Bio-Methane as a Road Transport Fuel. Bio-methane or biogas is widely regarded as the cleanest of all transport fuels, even cleaner than hydrogen or electric vehicles. Several EU projects across the Union have shown its viability. The UK forum was lauched at the Naturally Gas conference on 1st May 2007 in Loughborough, which was hosted by Cenex in partnership with the NSCA and the Natural Gas Vehicle Association. NSCA - May 11, 2007.

    We reported earlier on Dynamotive and Tecna SA's initiative to build 6 bio-oil plants in the Argentinian province of Corrientes (here). Dynamotive has now officially confirmed this news. Dynamotive - May 11, 2007.

    Nigeria launches a national biofuels feasibility study that will look at the potential to link the agricultural sector to the automotive fuels sector. Tim Gbugu, project leader, said "if we are able to link agriculture, we will have large employment opportunity for the sustenance of this country, we have vast land that can be utilised". This Day Onlin (Lagos) - May 9, 2007.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva meets with the CEO of Portuguese energy company Galp Energia, which will sign a biofuel cooperation agreement with Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras. GP1 (*Portuguese) - May 9, 2007.

    The BBC has an interesting story on how biodiesel made from coconut oil is taking the pacific island of Bougainville by storm. Small refineries turn the oil into an affordable fuel that replaces costly imported petroleum products. BBC - May 8, 2007.

    Indian car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra is set to launch its first B100-powered vehicles for commercial use by this year-end. The company is confident of fitting the new engines in all its existing models. Sify - May 8, 2007.

    The Biofuels Act of the Philippines has come into effect today. The law requires all oil firms in the country to blend 2% biodiesel (most often coconut-methyl ester) in their diesel products. AHN - May 7, 2007.

    Successful tests based on EU-criteria result in approval of 5 new maize hybrids that were developed as dedicated biogas crops [*German]. Veredlungsproduktion - May 6, 2007.

    With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED), Michigan State University intends to open a training facility dedicated to students and workers who want to start a career in the State's growing bioeconomy. Michigan State University - May 4, 2007.

    Researchers from the Texas A&M University have presented a "giant" sorghum variety for the production of ethanol. The crop is drought-tolerant and yields high amounts of ethanol. Texas A & M - May 3, 2007.

    C-Tran, the public transportation system serving Southwest Washington and parts of Portland, has converted its 97-bus fleet and other diesel vehicles to run on a blend of 20% biodiesel beginning 1 May from its current fleet-wide use of B5. Automotive World - May 3, 2007.

    The Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) and France's largest research organisation, the CNRS, have signed a framework-agreement to cooperate on the development of new energy technologies, including research into biomass based fuels and products, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies. CNRS - April 30, 2007.

    One of India's largest state-owned bus companies, the Andra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is to use biodiesel in one depot of each of the 23 districts of the state. The company operates some 22,000 buses that use 330 million liters of diesel per year. Times of India - April 30, 2007.

    Indian sugar producers face surpluses after a bumper harvest and low prices. Diverting excess sugar into the ethanol industry now becomes more attractive. India is the world's second largest sugar producer. NDTVProfit - April 30, 2007.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet on Thursday signed a biofuel cooperation agreement designed to share Brazil's experience in ethanol production and help Chile develop biofuels and fuel which Lula seeks to promote in other countries. More info to follow. People's Daily Online - April 27, 2007.

    Italy's Benetton plans to build a €61 million wood processing and biomass pellet production factory Nagyatád (southwest Hungary). The plant will be powered by biogas. Budapest Sun - April 27, 2007.

    Cargill is to build an ethanol plant in the Magdeburger Börde, located on the river Elbe, Germany. The facility, which will be integrated into existing starch processing plant, will have an annual capacity of 100,000 cubic meters and use grain as its feedstock. FIF - April 26, 2007.

    Wärtsilä Corporation was awarded a contract by the Belgian independent power producer Renogen S.A. to supply a second biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant in the municipality of Amel in the Ardennes, Belgium. The new plant will have a net electrical power output of 3.29 MWe, and a thermal output of up to 10 MWth for district heating. The electrical output in condensing operation is 5.3 MWe. Kauppalehti - April 25, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

President Bush orders development of regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles - boost to biofuels

Last month, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must take action under the Clean Air Act regarding greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The ruling forced President George Bush to issue an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation to work together to begin developing regulations that will reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, using the President’s '20-in-10' plan (earlier post) as a starting point.

The rules are to be implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency before Bush leaves office in January 2009, a relatively ambitious schedule by government standards.
Developing these regulations will require coordination across many different areas of expertise. Today, I signed an executive order directing all our agencies represented here today to work together on this proposal. I've also asked them to listen to public input, to carefully consider safety, science, and available technologies, and evaluate the benefits and costs before they put forth the new regulation.

This is a complicated legal and technical matter, and it's going to take time to fully resolve. Yet it is important to move forward, so I have directed members of my administration to complete the process by the end of 2008. The steps I announced today are not a substitute for effective legislation. So my -- members of my Cabinet, as they begin the process toward new regulations, will work with the White House, to work with Congress, to pass the 20-in-10 bill. - President George W. Bush.
The '20 in 10' proposal calls for a boost in the use of biofuels. The planned 20% reduction in gasoline usage over the next 10 years includes provisions to ensure that 15% of the reduction to comes from the use of renewable and alternative fuels, and 5% from mandated increases in fuel efficiency:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

During a briefing, Secretary Of Transportation Mary Peters, Secretary Of Agriculture Michael Johanns and EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson reacted to the order:
On April 2, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Massachusetts versus EPA that the Clean Air Act provided EPA the statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles if I determine in my judgment whether such emissions endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act. Today the President has responded to the Supreme Court's landmark decision by calling on EPA and our federal partners to move forward and take the first regulatory step to craft a proposal to control greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles.

This rule-making will be complex and will require a sustained commitment from the administration to complete it in a timely fashion. While the President's 20-in-10 plan, which would increase the supply of renewable and alternative fuel and reform the CAFE standards, will serve as a guide, we have not reached any conclusions about what the final regulation will look like. In most instances, by federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency must follow a specific process and take several steps before issuing a final regulation. This is a complex issue and EPA will ensure that any possible rule-making impacting emissions from all new mobile sources through the entire United States will adhere to the federal law.

We will solicit comments on a proposed rule from a broad array of stakeholders and other interested members of the public. Our ultimate decision must reflect a thorough consideration of public comments and an evaluation of how it fits within the scope of the Clean Air Act. Only after EPA has issued a proposal and considered public comments can it finalize a regulation. Today's announcement reflects our commitment to move forward expeditiously and responsibly. - EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson

We have wide-ranging experience and significant technical knowledge at the Department of Transportation when it comes to setting fuel economic standards that require automakers to install fuel savings technology on every type of pickup truck, SUV, and minivan, regardless of their size or weight.

As a result, our repeated increases in the fuel economy standards for the light truck category of vehicles have set tough new mileage targets while encouraging consumer choice, maintaining vehicle safety, and of course, protecting jobs and the American economy. -EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson
Secretary Of Agriculture Michael Johanns stresses that, since the order is set to strengthen the case to pass the '20 in 10' bill timely, it is an important development for American agriculture:
For the United States Department of Agriculture, renewable energy is a top priority. The President's goal to achieve 20-in-10 has ignited what I would describe as a transformational period, nothing short of that, in American agriculture. He's articulated a definite vision and he has followed up on that in our case, in Agriculture's case, with a very aggressive Farm Bill proposal that will fit perfectly with what he talked about this afternoon.

We've already put forth a Farm Bill proposal that would increase funding for renewable energy by $1.6 billion. Without question, the President's proposals represent the most significant commitment to renewable energy that's ever been proposed in farm legislation. It's focused on cellulosic ethanol, which is where we believe the next step is in terms of ethanol development. And it's also one of the building blocks that will help us achieve 20-in-10.

The Farm Bill proposals would expand research into cellulosic ethanol, to improve biotechnology, and create a better crop for conversion to renewable energy and to improve that conversion process, making it more efficient and, therefore, more commercially viable.

These proposals also fit well with the President's announcement because they provide funding to support more than a billion dollars in guaranteed loans, to encourage the construction of the commercial-scale cellulosic plants. - Secretary Of Agriculture Michael Johanns
More information:
White House: Executive Order: Cooperation Among Agencies in Protecting the Environment with Respect to Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Motor Vehicles, Nonroad Vehicles, and Nonroad Engines -May 14, 2007.

White House: President Bush Discusses CAFE and Alternative Fuel Standards - May 14.

White House: Briefing by Conference Call on the President's Announcement on CAFE and Alternative Fuel Standards - May 14, 2007.

White House: Fact Sheet: Twenty in Ten: Strengthening Energy Security and Addressing Climate Change - May 14, 2007

Des Moines Register: Bush orders steps to boost biofuels - May 14.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home