Govt forces Shell, Total to boost biodiesel mix
Amahl S. Azwar, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Mon, September 23 2013, 10:01 AM
PT Shell Indonesia and PT Total Oil Indonesia will have to increase the proportion of biodiesel in the diesel fuel mix they sell at their gas stations to at least 10 percent by January next year or leave the business.
Shell and Total, the only two remaining foreign players in the downstream petroleum sector in Indonesia, were obligated to boost the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) content in their diesel mixes, said Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry director general for renewable energy and energy conservation Rida Mulyana.
“We will inspect [their] gas stations from time to time to ensure they follow the new regulation,” he said over the weekend, referring to the 2013 Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial regulation issued on Sept. 1 mandating the change.
The regulation also requires a minimum of 10 percent biodiesel in diesel fuel mixes used for industrial and commercial purposes, and a minimum of 20 percent for those used in power plants.
The regulation also stipulates a minimum amount of 1 percent bioethanol in gasoline used in non-public service transportation vehicles, as well as in industries and commercial businesses, by January next year.
The new regulation, which was passed as part of the government’s stimulus package aimed at pushing down fuel imports to combat the current-account deficit and weakening rupiah, replaces a previous regulation issued in 2008 and makes the fuel-blending requirement mandatory instead of voluntarily.
Fuel retailers failing to comply with the regulation may face sanctions ranging from suspension of operations to business license revocation.
Both Shell — a subsidiary of petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell — and Total — a subsidiary of France-based Total SA — currently only mix 1 percent of biodiesel into their diesel fuel, according to Rida.
They previously were re
Pelosi: ‘There’s no more cuts to make’
By Aaron Blake, Published: September 22 at 11:13 am
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Obama shouldn't negotiate over the debt ceiling because there are "no more cuts to make."
"Because the cupboard is bare. There's no more cuts to make," Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It's really important that people understand that. We all want to reduce the deficit."
Pelosi said that whether and how to raise the debt ceiling "really shouldn't be a conversation."
CNN's Candy Crowley then noted that other presidents have negotiated over the debt ceiling and asked why Obama shouldn't. Pelosi said the level of brinksmanship in the current debate is what makes it different, along with the lack of options as far as spending cuts.
"You cannot have any more cuts just for the sake of cuts," Pelosi said, noting the deficit reduction that has occurred under President Obama.
The Renewable Fuel Standard calls for 18 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply in 2014. This year, 16.5 billion gallons must be blended into the U.S. fuel supply.
At the Illinois Corn Growers tent at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur last month, Executive Director Rod Wein-zierl said ethanol represents fuel savings for motorists.
“We’re trying to get out the word that while there may be a 17 percent mileage penalty using E85, the price differential between the higher ethanol blend and unleaded gasoline is growing,” he said.
Buis said ethanol was currently 80 cents cheaper per gallon than unleaded gasoline. “Gas is still a global market. You’ll notice that even though domestic production of oil and gas is rising, U.S. fuel prices haven’t gone down. That’s because the price of oil is still set by OPEC, a group that we’ve been beholden to for more than 40 years,” he said.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture checks out a new kind of ethanol plant
Posted: Sep 20, 2013 5:38 PM MDT
By Stephanie Ross, Multimedia Journalist
GALVA, Iowa (KTIV) -
Siouxland is home to several ethanol plants, but soon there will be one like no other. And Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, checked out the progress on Friday.
"This is potentially very, very significant for the ethanol industry, actually in the country - certainly for Iowa, as Iowa's the biggest state for ethanol production," Northey said.
Northey was talking about cellulosic ethanol. Even though it has a different name, it's the same product you've been getting out of your local gas pump, but it's made with a different feed stock.
That includes wood, grass, or the inedible part of plants. When it's built, the Quad County Corn Processors will use corn fiber or cellulose to make ethanol.
Northey learned more about the process during his tour and said the idea is revolutionary.
"This is the first one that's using that corn fiber that's already coming in to the ethanol plant that's attached to the corn that is now being processed for the starch," Northey said.
Travis Brotherson is the plant engineer. He took part in discovering this kind of ethanol about five years ago.
"We found that we could break down cellulose in to a form that we could ferment into ethanol," Brotherson said.
Even though ethanol will be made with cellulose, the final product won't change.
"The difference between the ethanol we will be producing from cellulose and the ethanol we produce from starch will be zero," Brotherson said.
Although there will be no noticeable difference for the consumer, Northey said there are many benefits to using the cellulosic ethanol.
"It could be something that's not horribly expensive to add to plants that could allow additional ethanol from the same bushels of corn, and a better feed product, and more corn oil that could get used in biodiesel," Northey said.
First Solar Breaks Ground On 150 MW California Solar Farm
Massachusetts Clean Economy Grows 11.8% To 80,000 Jobs
With the way Massachusetts’ clean energy economy is growing these days, state residents may need to start celebrating a different kind of green than Boston Celtics jerseys.
The Bay State’s clean energy industry kept booming this year, increasing green jobs by 11.8% from 2012 to 2013, according to the 2013 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.
Green growth has been fast, strong, and diverse across the state, benefitting from smart government policy and a combination of access to finance and cutting-edge research. Add it all up, and you get an economic success story with a sustainable twist.
2013 Massachusetts green economy image via MassCEC
24% Green Job Growth In Two Years
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report is compiled by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and 2013 is the third year it’s been published. The report tracks the size and growth of green jobs and businesses across the state through direct business surveys and interviews, and defines a clean energy firm or clean energy worker as one engaged in whole or part with clean energy technology.
And make no mistake – Massachusetts’ green economy is growing fast. Since the first report, the state’s clean energy economy has grown 24% and added 15,500 jobs. That’s more than eight times faster than an overall 3% economic growth rate for all industries statewide.
Massachusetts green job growth chart via MassCEC
Massachusetts now boasts 79,994 green jobs across 5,557 businesses – 1.9% of all jobs statewide, spread across every corner of the state and nearly every aspect of the clean energy economy. More than half of these firms are small businesses, meaning five or fewer full-time employees, but the majority of job creation came from new businesses and startups.
But even more promising, 27% of employers say they have current openings they expect to fill in the next three months. 83% of green jobs added si
Obama tells families of Navy Yard victims: 'We can't accept this'
Kevin Bogardus - 09/22/13 06:32 PM ET
President Obama delivered a somber speech on Sunday at a memorial for the Navy Yard mass shooting’s 12 victims, saying "we can't accept this" and must address gun violence.
Speaking at the Marine Barracks in Washington, Obama said he too often has had to comfort grieving families from mass shootings. The president said he is worried that there is “a creeping resignation” among Americans that nothing can be done in response to tragedies like the shooting last Monday.
“Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just the way it is. That this is somehow the new normal,” Obama said, but insisting that “we cannot accept this” as a nation.
“We must insist here today that there is nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work. There is nothing normal about our children being gunned down in their classrooms. There is nothing normal about children dying in our streets from stray bullets. No other advanced nation endures this kind of violence. None.”
Obama noted that other countries like Australia and the United Kingdom reformed their laws after they experienced mass shootings, making them a rarity. The president said the availability of guns here in the United States is the reason why.
“The main difference that sets our nation apart, what makes us so susceptible to so many mass shootings is that we don’t do enough, we don’t take the basic commonsense actions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. What’s different in America, it’s easy to get your hands on a gun and a lot of us know this,” Obama said.
Obama recounted stories of the victims from the shooting, including Arthur Daniels, whose 14-year-old son was also shot and killed in 2009. The president said the nation’s grieving for the families is not enough and that action must be taken.
“Our tears are not enough. O
Coburn predicts ObamaCare defunding 'tactic' won't be successful VIDEO
Kevin Bogardus - 09/22/13 12:17 PM ET
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that Republicans won’t be able to defund ObamaCare, despite many conservatives pushing to end the healthcare reform law.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Coburn said House Republicans attaching a provision to defund ObamaCare to the short-term spending bill they passed on Friday has helped highlight the law’s problems. But the move in the end will not be successful, according to the Oklahoma Republican.
“I think it’s a great attempt to raise the issue of some of the weaknesses and problems with ObamaCare, but it’s not a tactic we can actually carry out and be successful,” Coburn said.
The government is set to run out of funds on Oct. 1 and the Senate, which is in Democratic hands, is expected to reject the GOP spending bill due to its anti-ObamaCare provision. The debate over whether to force a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act has split Republicans, with many sniping at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has forced the issue.
Coburn, a strident budget hawk, cited the Congressional Research Service (CRS) as well as Republicans not having the votes in the Senate to defund ObamaCare. He said if it was possible, he “would be in the fight.”
“We don’t have the ability, both according to CRS nor politically, do we have the ability to put a total stop and defund ObamaCare,” Coburn said. “It would be nice if we did. I would be in the fight.”
In 2009, Tri-State Biodiesel began supplying the generators that run the tribute lights with a 50 percent blend of biodiesel. This year, however, the generator supplier, Cat Entertainment Services, agreed to run the lights on B99.9 supplied by Tri-State Biodiesel.
This year marks the fourth year for Tri-State Biodiesel’s Bioheat program that seeks to convert B20 Bioheat users in the New York City area to B99.
Tri-State Biodiesel's triple play in fashion, tribute and heating
By Ron Kotrba | September 17, 2013
Since 2009, Tri-State Biodiesel has supplied the generators that run the Twin Towers Tribute Lights with B50; this year, the lights ran on B99.9
Photo: Tri-State Biodiesel
Last week, New York City’s Lincoln Center, one of the most well-known arts and cultural institutions in the world, was fashion central as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York City's single largest media event, kicked into high gear. Designers from across the globe rolled out their spring 2014 lines sported by supermodels strutting down runways whose lights were powered by B20.
Dehran Duckworth, a managing partner at Tri-State Biodiesel, said this was the first year Tri-State Biodiesel won the contract to supply the Aggreko plc generators and temperature control equipment for the virtual “tent city” with its 20 percent biodiesel fuel. “It was an uphill push getting them to agree to run on B20,” Duckworth told Biodiesel Magazine. Bidding against other suppliers, Duckworth said Tri-State Biodiesel was able to hit the right price point since New York State only taxes the petroleum portion of a B20 blend.
“They said, ‘Your fuel is so clean that it shut down our units, and we had to change the filters,” Duckworth said. Fortunately, Aggreko was savvy enough to understand that the cleansing properties of the biodiesel blend freed up residues left behind from years of petroleum use. He said in the future, Aggreko may dedicate some of its equipment for biodiesel blends to avoid similar issues.
Earlier this month in New York City, the Twin Towers Tribute Lights shined brightly, as they have each year since the terrorist attack violently took the World Trade Center Twin Towers down on Sept. 11, 2001. The lights, said to be the strongest shafts of light ever projected from Earth into the night sky, are a visual memorial to those who were lost on that fateful date, and are turned on at suns
EPA releases August biodiesel production figures
Together, biodiesel and renewable diesel have exceeded production of 1 billion gallons this year
Updated: 21 September 2013 | 12:00 pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported a record pace for year-to-date production of biodiesel.
For the month of August, the EPA reported 148 million gallons of biodiesel production, which puts volume at nearly 916 million gallons so far this year, according to a news release.
With the addition of 30 million gallons of renewable diesel, a similar alternative fuel made with a different technology, 177 million gallons of biodiesel were produced in August.
Together, biodiesel and renewable diesel have exceeded production of 1 billion gallons so far this year.
Iowa biodiesel producers made 184 million gallons of biodiesel in 2012, or 17 percent of the nation’s biodiesel, according to the Iowa Biodiesel Board on its website.
“Right now we’re producing great volumes, we’re on pace to set another record this year and all that is is proving the need to increase our renewable volume obligation within the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) each year,” said T.J. Page, communications director for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Iowa is the No. 1 biodiesel producing state in the nation, Page added. There are 13 biodiesel plants throughout the state, according to the biodiesel board.
“The production pace demonstrates that the Renewable Fuel Standard is working as intended to diversify our nation’s fuel supply and stimulate domestic energy production,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board.
EPA Announces August Biodiesel Production Figures
USAgNet - 09/19/2013
The EPA reported 148 million gallons of biodiesel production for the month of August, putting year-to-date volume at a record pace of nearly 916 million gallons.
With more than 1 billion gallons of production in each of the past two years, biodiesel is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. The industry has surpassed RFS targets since the program began and is on track to do so again this year.
The production volumes are reported under the Biomass-based Diesel category of the RFS. To view the figures, visit the EPA's website here. The monthly numbers show a total of more than 177 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel in August. That total includes nearly 30 million gallons of renewable diesel, a similar diesel replacement made with the same resources but using a different technology.
For the year, biodiesel and renewable diesel together have already exceeded 1 billion gallons, with nearly 1.1 billion gallons total.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country and supports some 50,000 jobs. The National Biodiesel Board is the U.S. biodiesel trade association.