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Posts tagged “EPA”

By Robert Rapier on Oct 13, 2010 with 84 responses

EPA Grants E15 Waiver for Newer Vehicles

The news was just announced: EPA Grants E15 Waiver for Newer Vehicles WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. This represents the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry towards commercialization of E15 gasoline blends. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the decision after a review of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) extensive testing and other available data on… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 21, 2010 with 121 responses

What’s Really Holding Cellulosic Biofuels Back

There was a recent article in MIT Technology review called What’s Holding Biofuels Back? There is a relatively simple answer to the question that I will delve into below, but the short answer to “What’s holding biofuels back?” is that we placed unreasonable expectations on them to begin with, and they have simply failed to meet those unreasonable expectations. People would think it was unreasonable if Congress mandated a cure for the common cold within 5 years, but they don’t think twice when Congress mandates the creation of a cellulosic ethanol industry within 5 years. Yet either scenario requires technical breakthroughs that are not assured. The article notes that the cellulosic ethanol mandate for 2010 in the U.S. was cut… Continue»

By Nathanael Greene on Jun 18, 2010 with 9 responses

Magically Carbon Neutral Biomass, Evil EPA Rules and other Myths

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a bank account that automatically filled back up no matter how much you spent? You could just ignore how much you spent. Amazingly, the bioenergy industry has succeeded so far in convincing legislators here in the U.S. and around the world that bioenergy offers just such a carbon account. According to the industry, we only need to look at the carbon that biomass absorbs, not the carbon emissions it releases. The industry has convinced policymakers that no matter how much carbon is “spent” when biomass is burned for energy, there will magically be enough income in the form of regrowth to cover all expenses. Because of this magic, the industry would have us… Continue»

By Nathanael Greene on Jun 13, 2010 with 6 responses

New Study: Burning Trees for Power Worse for Climate than Burning Coal

A study commissioned by MA Department of Energy Resources and released last week reaches the conclusion that burning trees to make electricity is worse for the climate than burning coal at least through 2050. In fact, the study by the Manomet Center for Conservation Science finds that between the release of carbon when trees are burned and the slow reabsorption as the trees regrow, that this source of biopower would increase emissions by 3% compared to coal power over 40 years. This will come as a shocker to some, but it really shouldn’t. Wood contains less energy per pound of carbon and forests, especially in the northeast grow slowly. So when we burn a tree, we’re releasing more carbon and… Continue»

By Shay Bapple on Mar 24, 2010 with 3 responses

Federal Agencies Clamp Down on Energy Eaters

The DOE and EPA are taking to steps to bolster the reputation of their ENERGY STAR logo.

By Robert Rapier on Feb 23, 2010 with 142 responses

Broken Promises from Range Fuels

Update 8-18-10: For those linking in from the earth2tech article on Range Fuels, that inaccurately reflects my comments on Range. My criticism was not that they added methanol to the mix. To the contrary, I think biomass to methanol is a promising, long-term route to biofuels. My criticisms of Range are on the basis of what they promised versus what they are delivering, as documented below. When I first began my career, a wise old-timer gave me a piece of advice that I took to heart. He said “When you are planning and executing a project, it is important for you to do what you say you are going to do. People are going to make investment decisions on the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 8, 2010 with no responses

Technology is Magic

I am freshly arrived back on the U.S. mainland, with a couple of stops before I head back to Hawaii. I have been reading about energy developments during my travels, and finally wrote something on the flight from Europe yesterday. What has prompted me to write was a report that was recently issued by The President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group: Growing America’s Fuel As I read through this report on the status of advanced biofuels, I couldn’t help but think that this appeared to have been written by an optimistic cheerleader rather than by someone conducting a sober assessment of the situation. It contains very little of “Here is why we have fallen more than 90% short of our targets.”… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 8, 2009 with no responses

How to Break Through the Blend Wall

By now you have probably heard that the EPA has postponed issuing guidelines on whether to allow ethanol blends of higher than 10% into the gasoline pool. Going up to 15% ethanol blends would allow ethanol producers to put a lot more of their product into the market, which is currently bumping up against the limits of the current 10% ethanol blend allowance. Ethanol producers and proponents have assured us that the higher blends will not damage engines. Small engine makers and boaters are very worried that the higher blends will damage their engines. In fact oil companies, having been mandated to use ethanol, are now facing a class action lawsuit over ethanol blends damaging boat motors. Even the auto… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 1, 2009 with no responses

EPA Delays Ethanol Ruling

In a move that wasn’t really a surprise, today the EPA announced that they are not yet ready to approve ethanol blends above E10 for automobiles: EPA Notifies Industry Group on Status of Ethanol Waiver Request WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it expects to make a final determination in mid-2010 regarding whether to increase the allowable ethanol content in fuel. In a letter sent today to Growth Energy – a bio fuels industry association that had asked EPA to grant a waiver that would allow for the use of up to 15 percent of ethanol in gasoline – the agency said that while not all tests have been completed, the results of two tests… Continue»

By Jacob Cohen-Donnelly on Sep 15, 2009 with no responses

EPA Plans on Limiting Metal Discharges From Coal Plants

According to the EPA, they are putting together a new rule set that would reduce the amount of metal waste dumped into water supplies.