Boehner: No resolution on spending bill
Russell Berman - 09/12/13 12:27 PM ET
Republican leaders have failed to settle on an alternative plan to keep the government running after Sept. 30, Speaker John Boehner said Thursday, a day after conservative opposition forced him to delay a vote on their original proposal.
“There are a lot of discussions going on about how to deal with the [continuing resolution] and the issue of ObamaCare, so we’re continuing to work with our members,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a Capitol press conference.
Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday presented a plan to their members in which they would pass a stopgap spending bill while forcing the Senate to vote on a measure to defund President Obama’s healthcare law. But conservatives decried the idea as “gimmick” and are demanding the leadership take a harder line.
The Speaker suggested the leadership’s proposal was still viable. When a reporter mentioned that Republicans had rejected the plan, Boehner interjected, “Not quite yet.”
But he made clear that it may be revised before it comes to the House floor.
“There are a million options that are being discussed by a lot of people,” Boehner said. “When we have something to report, we’ll let you know.”
A number of conservatives are pressing party leaders to require a one-year delay of ObamaCare in exchange for a continuing resolution, but Boehner would not comment directly on the idea.
Parts of the federal government will shut down absent legislation by Sept. 30.
“I’m well aware of the deadlines,” Boehner said. “So are my colleagues. And so we’re working with our colleagues to work our way through these issues. I think there’s a way to get there.”
Earlier Thursday, Cantor told members that a scheduled recess for the last week of September might be cancelled without a resolution to avert a government shutdown.
Boehner met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConne
Cellulosic leaders talk feedstock procurement at Neb. event
By Chris Hanson | September 12, 2013
In front of an attentive crowd at the 2013 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo in Omaha, Neb., representatives from Abengoa Bioenergy S.A., Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC and Ineos Bio presented updates on their cellulosic ethanol projects and feedstock procurement activities.
Tom Robb, co-products project manager for Spain-based, Abengoa showcased the company’s cellulosic plant in Hugoton, Kan. He said the plant is the product of 10 years of technical development, roughly 30,000 hours of commercial and demonstration plant operation, and 100 people working in research and development.
Robb said the plant receives 320,000 dry tons of biomass harvested within a 50 mile radius each year. Of that biomass, 82 percent is comprised of irrigated corn stover, 7 percent irrigated wheat straw, 7 percent milo stubble and 4 percent switchgrass.
To secure the feedstocks needed, Robb explained how factors such as supply chain risks, weather and competitive uses were addressed by the company. He said the relatively dry climate of Kansas was a major benefit for the Hugoton plant site. “If you get rain or snow during your harvesting time, that could put a bind in your operations,” Robb said. “We’re less dependent on mother nature here.”
Additionally, Robb spoke about the dynamics between Abengoa, biomass owners and grain facilities. He said demonstrating stewardship principles, demonstrating synergies for biomass residue management with farming practices, and working within customary business practices are necessary when interacting with biomass owners.
Next, Steve Hartig, general manager at Poet-DSM, addressed the feedstock procurement efforts leading up to the opening of Project Liberty plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. He said the plant’s feedstock needs can be secured with the corn residue from one-third of the corn acres within a 35 mile radius of the facility. Hartig
German energy storage plan could trigger new market boom
By Sophie Vorrath on 6 September 2013
New research has predicted that the German government’s measures to support energy storage uptake – namely its relatively new solar storage subsidy program – could trigger a boom in the market similar to that once witnessed in the solar PV industry.
The €25 million scheme, established in May this year, covers up to 30 per cent of the cost for residential storage equipment when added as apart of a new residential PV system.
Research analysts IHS say the subsidy could trigger the sort of rapid uptake of solar PV energy storage systems that the government’s feed-in tariff (FiT) system ignited in the PV industry eight years ago.
“The adoption of residential PV energy storage in Germany will accelerate in 2014 as a result of this subsidy and falling prices of the storage system,” said IHS research manager, Sam Wilkinson – adding that energy storage systems allow households to increase their level of self-consumption from around 30 per cent to around 60 per cent.
Already, 1,100 applications for the subsidy have been approved, according to the German solar association, with 4,800 more working their way through the system.
Wilkinson says IHS expects Germany’s energy storage market to be dominated by the residential sector, with 30MW of installations already supported by the subsidy in 2013.
“Periodic decreases in FiT and continually increasing electricity prices, coupled with decreasing PV system prices, have now made it financially favourable for a home-owner to self-consume PV energy on-site rather than export it to the electricity grid and receive the FiT,” he added.
Meanwhile, to further capitalise on the solar storage market, the German government is co-funding the local development of a 5 megawatt-hour battery designed to store surplus renewable energy.
Bloomberg reports that the German Environment Ministry will spend €1.3 million on a manufacturing facility in S
Dem senator: Carbon tax ‘inevitable’
Ben Geman - 09/12/13 11:49 AM ET
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wants a tax on carbon emissions, but he’s backing up Sen. Mark Begich’s (D-Alaska) claim that the Alaska Democrat didn’t vote for the concept in March.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee and a conservative advocacy group, in robo-calls and ads, are alleging Begich supports a carbon tax because he backed a failed Whitehouse amendment to a nonbinding budget bill that addressed the issue.
The amendment would have carved out space in the budget for future carbon tax bills, but only if the revenue is returned to the public through deficit reduction, reducing other rates, cost savings or other “direct” benefits.
"I didn't view it as binding anybody on a carbon fee," Whitehouse said Thursday.
But the amendment has become a political ink-blot test. Begich’s foes are casting it as endorsement of a carbon tax. Begich, a freshman who faces reelection next year, recently said he opposes a carbon tax.
Whitehouse told E2-Wire Thursday that the amendment is about what to do with the revenue when the “inevitable” carbon fee happens.
“I think that ultimately a fee on carbon pollution is inevitable, and the purpose of that amendment was to begin a discussion on that and begin the discussion about when that happens, what the best way to use the proceeds of the fee are, so from that point of view, I didn’t view it as binding anybody on a carbon fee, but I did view it as an assessment of the best way of using carbon fee proceeds,” he said in a short interview.
The Senate rejected the Whitehouse amendment in March, and an anti-carbon-tax amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also failed during debate that was seen as a proxy battle over taxing carbon.
Here’s the text of the failed Whitehouse amendment:
SA 646. Mr. WHITEHOUSE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the concurrent resolution S. Con. Res. 8, setting forth the congressional budge
Report: $603 million in Energy Dept. biofuels funding fails to meet goals
By Ben Geman - 09/12/13 12:39 PM ET
A years-long Energy Department program to help spur industry production of next-generation biofuels has fallen short, the department’s inspector general concludes in a new report.
“Despite over 7 years of effort and the expenditure of about $603 million, the Department had not yet achieved its biorefinery development and production goals,” states the report made public Thursday.
“Specifically, the [Energy Policy Act of 2005] mandate to demonstrate the commercial application of integrated biorefineries had not been met and the Department was not on target to meet its biofuels production capacity goal,” it states.
Check out the whole report, including a senior DOE’s official’s defense of efforts to spur cellulosic ethanol development, by clicking here.
Coal industry cries foul over Obama emission rules
September 12, 2013 at 6:52 am by Bloomberg
Representatives of coal-intensive utilities and coal-producing regions said that President Barack Obama would effectively outlaw construction of new power plants using the fuel with pending environmental rules.
The Environmental Protection Agency is revising proposed rules from last year in response to opposition by utilities and mining companies. The new version, under review by White House officials and scheduled for release next week, will be structured differently though it offers little solace to the industry, according to people who have been briefed on the measure and asked not to be identified before its release.
The agency brushed aside a vigorous lobbying campaign by industry and is pushing rules that would require new coal plants to install expensive carbon-capture technology, according to the people briefed on the plans. Alisha Johnson, a spokeswoman for the EPA, declined to comment.
Low-cost natural gas is leading utilities to build new plants using that fuel and shutter coal-fired plants. The effect of the new standard would lock out coal over the long term, said Scott Segal, a lobbyist for utilities.
“Once you set something in stone, you discourage investment in that sector, and you take a flexible market and ossify it,” Segal, a lawyer at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington, said in an interview. “The market price of natural gas can change” but regulations don’t, he said.
Carbon-dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution have led to a warming of the Earth’s temperature in the past 50 years, worsening forest fires, drought and coastal flooding, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
To deal with the threat, Obama directed the EPA to cap carbon dioxide from power plants, which account for 40 percent of U.S. emissions. The first step is to issue rules for new plants, a proposal set to be released next week. The m
EIA Natural Gas Storage Data
Total (09/06/13): 3,253 Bcf
Total (08/30/13): 3,188 Bcf
Change: 65 Bcf
Year ago stocks: 3,425 Bcf
% diff to yr ago: -5.0 %
5-year avg stocks: 3,207 Bcf
% dif to 5-yr avg: 1.4 %
Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report for week ending September 6, 2013
Released: September 12, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. | Next Release: September 19, 2013
Working gas in storage was 3,253 Bcf as of Friday, September 6, 2013, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 65 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 172 Bcf less than last year at this time and 46 Bcf above the 5-year average of 3,207 Bcf. In the East Region, stocks were 114 Bcf below the 5-year average following net injections of 49 Bcf. Stocks in the Producing Region were 106 Bcf above the 5-year average of 993 Bcf after a net injection of 14 Bcf. Stocks in the West Region were 54 Bcf above the 5-year average after a net addition of 2 Bcf. At 3,253 Bcf, total working gas is within the 5-year historical range.
EPA to revise climate rule for new power plants; will still require carbon capture
By Juliet Eilperin, Published: September 11
This month, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose standards that will establish stricter pollution limits for gas-fired power plants than coal-fired power plants, according to individuals who were briefed on the matter but asked not to be identified because the rule was not public yet.
The revised rule, which would impose greenhouse gas limits on power plants for the first time, will still require utilities to install costly carbon controls on coal plants.
The agency initially proposed that any new power plant emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced but decided to overhaul that rule this spring out of concern that it would face a stiff legal challenge.
The average U.S. natural gas plant emits 800 to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt, and coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds. According to those familiar with the new EPA proposal, the agency will keep the carbon limit for large natural gas plants at 1,000 pounds but relax it slightly for smaller gas plants. The standard for coal plants will be as high as 1,300 or 1,400 pounds per megawatt hour, the individuals said Wednesday, but that still means the utilities will have to capture some of the carbon dioxide they emit.
During his climate speech in June, President Obama described establishing a carbon rule for new plants as part of his overall plan to address global warming.
EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson declined to provide details on the rule, which is set to be released Sept. 20. She wrote in an e-mail that the agency “is working to finalize its re-proposal of a pollution standard for new power plants in light of the important comments received by the agency and in a way that considers the viewpoints of all stakeholders.”
“President Obama is committed to taking action for our kids by cutting pollution and
Hydroelectric Power Makes Big Comeback at US Dams
DES MOINES, Iowa September 12, 2013 (AP)
By DAVID PITT Associated Press
On a typical summer weekend, hundreds of boats glide across the shimmering surface of Iowa's Lake Red Rock, the state's largest body of water.
The placid 15,000-acre lake was created in the 1960s after the government built a dam to prevent frequent flooding on the Des Moines River. Now the cool waters behind the dam are attracting interest beyond warm-weather recreation. A power company wants to build a hydroelectric plant here — a project that reflects renewed interest in hydropower nationwide, which could bring changes to scores of American dams.
Hydroelectric development stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s as environmental groups lobbied against it and a long regulatory process required years of environmental study. But for the first time in decades, power companies are proposing new projects to take advantage of government financial incentives, policies that promote renewable energy over fossil fuels and efforts to streamline the permit process.
"We're seeing a significant change in attitude," said Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association, a trade group.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees hydroelectric projects in the U.S., issued 125 preliminary hydropower permits last year, up from 95 in 2011. Preliminary permits allow a company to explore a project for up to three years. The agency issued 25 licenses for hydropower projects last year, the most since 2005.
In all, more than 60,000 megawatts of preliminary permits and projects awaiting final approval are pending before the commission in 45 states.
"I've never seen those kinds of numbers before," Church Ciocci said.
The interest in hydropower is so intense that some utilities are competing to build plants at the same dams, leaving the government to determine which ones get to proceed.
Hydroelectricity provides about 7 percent
China bans new coal-fired plants in 3 regions
September 12, 2013 at 6:46 am by Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) — China announced Thursday that it will ban new coal-fired power plants in three key industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in its latest bid to combat the country’s notorious air pollution.
The action plan from the State Council, China’s Cabinet, also aims to cut coal’s share of the country’s total primary energy use to below 65 percent by 2017 and increase the share of nuclear power, natural gas and renewable energy. According to Chinese government statistics, coal consumption accounted for 68.4 percent of total energy use in 2011.
New coal-fired power plants will be banned for new projects in the region surrounding Beijing, in the Yangtze Delta region near Shanghai and in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong province, the State Council said.
Martin Adams, Hong Kong-based energy editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said coal’s share of China’s energy consumption already was expected to fall below 65 percent by 2017 and that utility companies had noticed approvals for coal plants weren’t being given.
Adams also noted that while coal would account for a smaller proportion of total energy production, the absolute amount of coal burning would continue to increase.
“There’s less to it probably than meets the eye,” Adams said of the new action plan.
“Of course, saying it out loud does send a signal that the government is serious about, at least, decreasing the rate at which coal consumption grows and about getting more renewables and natural gas and nuclear,” he said. “I think possibly just as important, if not more important, is the signal that it sends to the Chinese people that, ‘we are trying to control pollution levels on the eastern seaboard.’”
The government has come under increasing pressure from the growing middle class to clean up the country’s air pollution, much of which comes from the burning of
Lawmakers dread Syria inspections
Jeremy Herb - 09/11/13 08:26 PM ET
Lawmakers on Wednesday raised concerns that a long, complicated effort to secure Syria’s chemical weapons could draw the U.S. into a nightmarish inspection process while Syria is engaged in a brutal civil war.
While they said avoiding U.S. military action is a positive development, some see in Syria a repeat of the drawn-out series of weapons inspections in the 12 years between the first and second Gulf Wars.
“The complexities of enforcing it are going to be massive,” said Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In Iraq, the U.S. faced a recalcitrant dictator in Saddam Hussein who the Bush administration said obstructed efforts to inspect his suspected weapons supplies. Some see a parallel with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose government has pledged to turn over its chemical weapons.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) noted that Hussein agreed to United Nations resolutions to destroy his chemical weapons after the first Gulf War. But he repeatedly broke those commitments, which was one factor in the George W. Bush administration’s decision to invade.
“If we were to participate in the destruction of chemical weapons, we should be on guard that it can lead you into deeper involvement,” Sessions said.
Others argue that comparing Syrian diplomacy to Iraq is inaccurate because the U.S. isn’t contemplating putting boots on the ground and it knows the weapons are there.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who voted against authorizing military force in Iraq but supported Syria action, said she saw no connection between the two conflicts.
“This has not even one scintilla of comparison,” Boxer told The Hill. “In Iraq, there were no weapons. In Syria … there’s proof they’ve been used.”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said that Iraq and Syria were unrelated so long as “the president is serious about ‘no boots on the ground.’ ”
No one expects an easy task
Project Liberty data shows viability of biomass harvesting
By Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels | September 11, 2013
Harvesting crop residue for cellulosic ethanol production is consistent with good farm management, according to the latest data from researchers with Iowa State University and USDA.
The work was commissioned by Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels to ensure the sustainability of the joint venture’s plans to build cellulosic ethanol plants and license technology to producers in the U.S. and abroad. The research, by Doug Karlen with USDA and Stuart Birrell with ISU, was conducted in fields near Emmetsburg, Iowa, the site of Project Liberty, Poet-DSM’s 20 million-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant currently under construction. The facility will use corn-crop residue – cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk – to produce renewable fuel. It is slated to come online in early 2014.
The research, now in its fifth year, evaluated the possible effects of biomass removal on soil nutrient levels and grain yields over various rates of removal. Poet-DSM’s proposed rate of removal is approximately 1 ton per acre, which is 20-25 percent of the above-ground biomass.
“In summary, both grain yields and soil nutrient levels were not significantly affected by stover harvest treatments,” Birrell said in a research summary.
Fields with yields above 175 bushels per acre could remove up to 2 tons of biomass per acre, according to Birrell and Karlen. Based on the data, Poet-DSM recommends no changes in nitrogen or phosphorous applications, due to residue removal. Some biomass providers could benefit from adding a small amount of potassium.
Farmers around Emmetsburg have had positive experiences in this new ag market.
“As yields increase, I’m seeing more and more biomass on my field,” said Bruce Nelson, an area farmer who harvests biomass on both his own farm and others’ fields. “Removing some of that material has actually improved how my farm operates. It’s a great opportunity for farm
Japan hopes to blow ahead in renewables with floating wind farm
by Minoru Matsutani
Sep 10, 2013
The renewable energy sector plays a key part in Japan’s growth strategy. Among options such as solar and geothermal, wind power may be the most suitable for Japan as it is surrounded by the ocean.
Winds are strong and stable at the ocean due to the absence of structures blocking the wind. The noise and vibrations from wind turbines disturbing residents is another reason the ocean is preferable.
The challenge is that the ocean floor around Japan is steep, so it would only make sense if wind turbines float. But there are no floating offshore wind farms in the world.
Japan’s answer is to create the world’s first wind farm off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.
“It’s the best solution for Japan,” said Takeshi Ishihara, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering. The university, along with several manufacturing companies, formed a consortium to build the wind farm.
Potential for wind power generation is huge in Japan, he said. According to the Environment Ministry, the amount of offshore wind energy that can be potentially generated in Japan is 1.6 billion kilowatts, 10 times that of solar power and 100 times that of thermal power and small and mid-size hydraulic power. It is also eight times the current capacity of Japan’s power companies.
Japan lags very much behind European countries in wind power generation. Wind power accounts for less than 1 percent of power generation in Japan, Ishihara said.
Meanwhile, Britain, for example, aims to increase wind power and its goal is to have a third of its power generated from wind.
“Japan should also have a similar goal,” Ishihara said.
There have been legitimate reasons, however, for Japan to have stayed away from wind power.
One of the reasons is that Japan has not had the experience and know-how of building and maintaining wind t
FTC will look into fuel pump fight between ethanol producers, Big Oil
By Jon Lesage
Posted Sep 10th 2013 7:57AM
Two US senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to find out if Big Oil is pulling strings to block gas stations from accessing gasoline blended with extra ethanol – or 15 percent ethanol (E15). Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D – MN) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R – IA) said they've received reports of oil companies pushing independent gas stations to sell premium gasoline along with regular gasoline. Since most US fuel stations are built with two large storage tanks, pressure to bring in premium grade gas, E15 wouldn't make it to these gas stations. The senators would like to find out from the FTC if the oil companies' actions were a possible antitrust violation. The FTC said in a letter that it would look into the issue.
Klobuchar and Grassley represent two states where a lot of corn is grown and ethanol is produced. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard calls for 16.55 billion gallons of biofuels to be sold this year and 18.5 billion gallons in 2014. The US Environmental Protection Agency admits that the US may have hit the "blend wall," where more biofuel is being produced than the amount that is being demanded. The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute have been petitioning to get that biofuel volume down to a little more than 14.8 billion gallons for next year. Big Oil has been warning Washington that producing too much biofuel would mean "severe economic harm" for the US. The American Petroleum Institute thinks that the senators' allegations are "a distraction from the fact that the [renewable fuels standard] is broken."
While the EPA has approved the use of E15 in newer cars, demand for it hasn't yet grown. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says there are only about 30 gas station in eight states offering E15. Biofuel organizations say oil companies are pulling shenanigans to stop E15 f
EU votes for 6 percent cap on first-generation biofuels
The EU plenary vote and a very vocal European Biodiesel Board in the days prior to the event
By Ron Kotrba | September 11, 2013
In a much-anticipated vote today, the EU Parliament plenary decision on where to cap first-generation biofuels in Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive came down to a narrow agreement of 6 percent. This cap is lower than the biofuels industries pushed for, and higher than anti-biofuel lobbies desired.
Nuria Molina, director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid, one of the many organizations in support of a lower cap on EU first-generation biofuels, had this to say about the vote, and where the next battleground in this war will be fought.
“The baton now passes to the UK government, which must fight in within Europe to make sure the cap on biofuels is as low as possible, and no higher than 5 percent. A UK position of anything higher would be a failure to live up to David Cameron's promise made at this summer’s G8 to tackle global hunger.”
ActionAid’s Sept. 11 press release goes on to say:
“MEPs were voting to cap the amount of land-based and food-based biofuels used in transport fuel. In October, the European Commission proposed a cap of 5 percent on the amount of food that can be used to meet the overall 10 percent target for renewable energy in transport by 2020. This proposal was welcomed by development and green groups as a first step in the right direction to control the promotion of the first-generation biofuels industry. But wrangling in the European Parliament led to a watering down of the Commission’s limitation, particularly by the industry committee, which had proposed a 6.5 percent cap.”
Regarding an advanced biofuels subtarget in the vote, today the European Biodiesel Board said the European Parliament provided a schizophrenic proposal maintaining present double-counting support but excluding used cooking oil and animal fats from the 2.5 percent specific target alloc
California Assembly passes new regulations on fracking
September 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm by Bloomberg
By Mark Melnicoe
California lawmakers weighing the prospects of the largest U.S. shale-oil reserves are poised to give final approval to regulations strengthening state oversight of the extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
The third-largest oil-producing state would for the first time require permits for drillers who use the method of forcing water, sand and chemicals underground to break up rock formations. Energy companies would also have to disclose the fracking fluid ingredients and notify nearby landowners.
Technological advancements in fracking have ignited a boom in development of wells once deemed uneconomical, particularly shale oil. California’s Monterey Shale may hold 15.4 billion barrels — two-thirds of the nation’s shale-oil reserves, according to federal estimates.
“There are still many unanswered questions,” said the bill’s author, Senator Fran Pavley, a Democrat from Agoura Hills near Los Angeles. “It is in the interest of all Californians to monitor and regulate these practices.”
The regulations cleared the Assembly today and return to the Senate to reconcile changes before going to Governor Jerry Brown, a 75-year-old Democrat. Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, said Brown intends to sign the bill into law.
The measure “comprehensively addresses potential impacts from fracking, including water and air quality, seismic activity and other potential risks,” Westrup said.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, California League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and Environmental Working Group, which backed earlier versions of the measure, withdrew their support, saying the bill was too watered down.
“This bill will not protect Californians from the enormous threats of fracking pollution,” said Kassie Siegel, senior counsel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “
White House calling union leaders ahead of vote on ObamaCare resolution
By Kevin Bogardus - 09/11/13 04:44 PM ET
LOS ANGELES — White House officials have been calling union leaders about a resolution critical of ObamaCare that is set to pass on Wednesday at the AFL-CIO convention.
Union leaders have been tight-lipped about the calls coming from Washington, but at least one labor official said he understands that the Obama administration has been watching the resolution’s progress and expressing a desire that it not move forward.
Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said the White House would rather not have the AFL-CIO pass a resolution that lays out several complaints against the healthcare law.
“My understanding is [the calls are] to encourage that the resolution not to be brought to the floor and allow the administration to address the concerns with a commitment, an attempt to resolve some of the issues,” Schaitberger said. “My understanding is that they would have preferred that no resolution be brought to the floor.”
At an early Wednesday morning meeting, the AFL-CIO Executive Council decided to move the ObamaCare resolution onto the convention floor for a vote, several union officials told The Hill.
Schaitberger said no one from the administration has brought up the resolution with him during the convention, but he is aware of intense interest from the White House and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
“I know there have been phone calls to several leaders, particularly those directly involved in development of the resolution. I know there have been a number of meetings and discussions with a variety of presidents from various unions and the secretary of Labor,” Schaitberger said.
Other union leaders said they too were aware of the White House calling labor leaders about the resolution.
“I don’t think it’s ‘Don’t do a resolution.’ It’s about setting a resolution that lays out the problems and sets the framewor
Tillerson hasn't figured it out that its more economical to squeeze the 40% - 60+% oil content out of algae than it is to obtain the 6% or 7% dirty oil content within the oilsands.
Algal Oil Yields
Microalgae, like higher plants, produce storage Lipids in the form of triacyglycerols (TAGs). Comparatively algae produce more oil than any other oilseeds which are currently in use. Many microalgal species can be induced to accumulate substantial quantities of lipids, often greater than 60% of their biomass.
Comparison of average oil yields from algae with that from other oilseeds
The table below presents indicative oil yields from various oilseeds and algae. Please note that there are significant variations in yields even within an individual oilseed depending on where it is grown, the specific variety/grade of the plant etc. Similarly, for algae there are significant variations between oil yields from different strains of algae. The data presented below are indicative in nature, primarily to highlight the order-of-magnitude differences present in the oil yields from algae when compared with other oilseeds. (See also: Vegetable Oils Yields & Characteristics – from Journey to Forever)
LNG export critics call on Energy Dept. for time out
September 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy
With the Obama administration on Wednesday approving a fourth company’s plans to sell natural gas overseas, some lawmakers and manufacturers said it’s time for the federal government to reassess the economic risks of those export approvals.
The Energy Department has now authorized companies to export 6.37 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas daily, including Wednesday’s approval of foreign sales from Dominion’s Cove Point facility in eastern Maryland.
That puts the U.S. squarely within widely projected ranges for eventual natural gas exports — and past a 5 bcf/day threshold at which some manufacturers say domestic prices for the fossil fuel could be pushed upward.
The Energy Department “has an obligation to use most recent data about U.S. natural gas demand and production and prove to American families and manufacturers that these exports will not have a significant impact on domestic prices, and in turn on energy security, growth and employment,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
The head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden has criticized the government’s reliance on energy market projections made in 2010 in assessing the economic effect of additional natural gas exports. A government-commissioned study last year using those numbers — and a baseline projection of 6 bcf/day in exports — concluded that the United States would score big economic benefits by broadly exporting natural gas, with only modest domestic price increases for the fossil fuel.
A coalition of large industrial users of natural gas, including the Dow Chemical Co., Dallas-based Celanese and Nucor Corp., said the Energy Department should tread more carefully, given the cumulative exports it has already authorized.
“We are now approaching a volume of LNG exports that many experts project will impact price and volatility for natural gas,” noted Jennifer Diggins, chai