Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change Report 2020 (Report Attached)
Wesconsin Climate Change
Date: 2020-12-28
"Over the course of 2020, the U.S. experienced another unprecedented year of extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding. The devastation of these disasters impacted the lives and livelihoods of Americans already struggling to cope during a world-wide pandemic. While the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic are distinct, the known systemic impacts are not. Like COVID-19, climate change is a global phenomenon requiring massive structural transformations of economic and social institutions.

"Climate (change) challenges include more hot, humid weather with more intense and more frequent heavy rainfalls, as well as freezing winter rain instead of snow, followed by deep winter freezes (such as those from a polar vortex). These changes affect the stability of Wisconsin's economic sectors as well as human health and safety. Immediate action is necessary:

  • We must develop opportunities to mitigate carbon emissions and increase renewable energy;

  • We must enhance our infra-structure's adaptive capacity and strengthen overall economic, environmental and social resilience;

  • We must educate and train our workforce with the skills needed for a transition to a low-carbon economy, and;

  • We must ensure all actions are equitable and minimize unintended and disproportionate impacts.

    Download the Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change Report 2020 HERE. (Source: State of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Task Force on Climate Change, Public News Service, 28 Dec., 2020) (Contact: Climate Change Wisconsin, climatechange.wi.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wisconsin Climate Change,  


  • Congressional Biofuels Caucus Seeking Direct Biofuels Industry Relief (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    USDA
    Date: 2020-04-13
    Iowa Congressman Steve King (R), a member of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, reports he has signed the attached bi-partisan letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that the USDA use "funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry."

    Dear Secretary Perdue,

    "The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided USDA with additional resources to support farm income and prices during this economic downturn. The CARES Act included a reimbursement of $14 billion to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), and $9.5 billion for the Secretary to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to address financial hardship in agriculture, we urge you to use funds from the CARES Act to provide direct relief to the biofuels industry.

    "Demand for fuel is declining as states implement stay-at-home orders and discourage travel. This sudden shift in demand is worsening market conditions to the point ethanol plants are halting production. The biofuels industry is a vital market for the commodities our farmers produce, and USDA must take immediate action to ensure plants can retain skilled workers and continue production when market conditions improve.

    "The biofuels sector provides a direct and significant boost to the value of corn and soybeans. Ethanol plants purchase two out of every five bushels of U.S. corn and biodiesel producers use over 8 billion pounds of soybean oil a year. Ethanol plants produce dried distillers grains (DDGs) as a byproduct, providing livestock farmers with a low-cost, high-protein component of animal feed. To assist with the response to COVID-19, some ethanol and biofuels plants have volunteered to produce hand sanitizer and disinfectant products to address nationwide shortages. And, ethanol plants produce high purity carbon dioxide that is critical for medical facilities and food processing. The biofuels sector plays a large role in the livelihood of America's commodity and livestock producers, and biofuels plants are major employers in many rural communities.

    "USDA should take immediate action to stabilize the biofuels industry with resources provided by the CARES Act. We look forward to working with you on this issue as USDA assists producers through this challenging time. Thank you for considering this request." (Source: Congressman Steven King, KIOW Radio, 12 April, 2020) Contact: Rep Steve King, steveking.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  USDA,  


    Madrid Climate Talks failed! What Now? asks Amnesty International (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    COP25,Amnesty International
    Date: 2019-12-20
    " 'What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!!!' If you have been to just one climate march in your life, you will have certainly heard this slogan. It has become omnipresent whenever people are expressing concerns over the climate crisis. Behind this simple chant, there are deep demands rooted in human rights principles. There is the call for fast climate action by government and corporations, to avoid even more catastrophic human rights impacts than what we are seeing now. There is the appeal to wealthier industrialized states which have contributed the most to the climate crisis to step up and pay up in order to redress some of the injustices accentuated by climate change. There is the reminder that climate action needs to have people's participation and human rights, including Indigenous peoples' rights, at its centre. At all costs it needs to avoid human rights violations and contribute to making society a more equal, just and inclusive place for all.

    "Yet human rights considerations still play a marginal role in climate negotiations. The outcomes of the Madrid climate talks (COP25) are just another proof of it. Following a year of school climate strikes and mass mobilization in many countries of the world, states were expected to act in line with the urgency proved by scientists and increasingly felt by people. Instead, most wealthier countries and other high emitting countries remained stuck in selfish and short-sighted considerations which prevented real progress.

    "While the final COP25 decision recognized the urgency of enhancing climate action, it failed to set a clear obligation for states to come up with ambitious national climate plans in 2020 capable of keeping the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C. This shows a complete disregard for the human rights of people who will be most affected by spiking climate impacts. For millions of people around the world, the formulation and, above all, the implementation of strong climate plans simply means a difference between life and death.

    "Wealthy countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions and have for years profited from them, while people in poorest countries are suffering most of the damages inflicted by the climate crisis. In Madrid, they had the opportunity to recognize this historic imbalance and accept their duty to pay for the devastation already wreaked by climate impacts such as cyclones, droughts and sea-level rise. Instead, they opposed the mobilization of new and additional resources to support affected people. This in practice means turning their back to the almost 4 million people who have lost their homes, livelihoods or access to public services in the two cyclones in Mozambique earlier this year, or to residents of Pacific islands in urgent need of relocation due to sea-level rise.

    "Similarly, states were once again unable to reach an agreement on mechanisms allowing countries to trade emission reductions. Countries like Australia, Brazil and China continued to push for loopholes which would have ultimately resulted in weakening the effects of climate mitigation measures, in violation of the rights of those who stand most at risk from climate impacts.

    "Also, worryingly, there was insufficient willingness from states to include explicit reference to human rights safeguards in carbon trading rules. Such guarantees are necessary to ensure that negative human rights impacts can be assessed and addressed prior to adopting climate mitigation projects and that people directly impacted by carbon market projects have a say in shaping such measures. This is a very strong demand from Indigenous peoples, as they too often have paid the price of ill-conceived climate projects, such as hydroelectric dams or biogas initiatives initiated without their free, prior and informed consent and resulting in forced evictions, water contamination, or permanent damage to their cultural rights.

    "What came out of this last round of climate negotiations paints a grim picture. It was certainly a source of frustration at COP25, prompting civil society observers to take a massive direct action inside the negotiation venue on 11 December. This move was met with an unprecedented decision by UN security officers to expel more than 300 observers for the day.

    "In 2020 we need to step up our game. We need to forge strong coalitions at national level to demand ambitious and human rights-compliant climate action that achieves a just transition away from fossil fuels. We need to mobilize like never before. The world's most important struggle needs the world's most powerful, diverse and united people's mass movement ever assembled. As the year ends, we can all start 2020 by making our new or renewed commitment to climate justice our New Year's resolution." (Source: Amnesty International, 17 Dec., 2019) Contact: Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  CO2,  


    Siouxland Energy Shuttering Iowa Ethanol Plant (Ind. Report)
    Siouxland Energy ,Plymouth Energy
    Date: 2019-09-16
    In the wake of Plymouth Energy's ethanol plant shutdown in August, Siouxland Energy, a farmer-owned cooperative in Sioux Center, Iowa, is reporting its board of directors has "decided to halt production."

    The shutdown is being blamed on the Trump Administration's waivers so ethanol doesn't have to be blended in gasoline produced at what the board said were "many large oil refineries." According to Siouxland Energy, the actions have "unfairly" benefited the oil industry at the expense of farmers and, "if not addressed soon, will impact the livelihoods of many." (Source: Siouxland Energy, Des Moines Register, 16 Sept., 2019)Contact: Siouxland Energy Cooperative, 712-722-4904, www.siouxlandenergy.com; Plymouth Energy, 712-938-2373, www.plymouth-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Siouxland Energy,  Plymouth Energy,  Ethanol,  


    Industry Comments on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association , National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-12-05
    "Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside. While any increase is better than a flatline, these modest increases vastly underrate the potential of advanced biofuels." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

    "EPA's failure to properly account for small refinery exemptions will continue to destroy biodiesel demand. EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program's purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel." -- National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    "Of the 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel called for in the RFS, the vast majority, 388 million gallons, are requested from biogas and that represents a 45 pct increase in production from the 2018 volumes." -- American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, (202) 640-6595, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    "When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers' livelihood and the economy of rural America." -- National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Lynn Chrisp, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  NCGA,  ,  RFS,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Board ,  


    Samoan Climate Change Program Funding Announced (Int'l Report)
    Global Environment Facility
    Date: 2018-11-26
    In the South Pacific, 26 biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, land degradation and sustainable forest management and other related projects have been granted more than $635,000 in funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme. The projects were approved by the Samoan National Steering Committee (N.S.C.) based on the technical assessment from the Technical Advisory Group (T.A.G.).

    The funding is intended to support Samoans most at risk given their strong dependency on natural resources for their livelihoods, while often living in fragile ecosystems throughout the island country. our planet's most pressing environmental problems.

    Since its founding, the GEF has provided over $17.9 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $93.2 billion in co-financing for more than 4500 projects in 170 countries. Today, the GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global climate change and other environmental issues, according to the GEF website. (Source: Global Environment Facility, Samoa Observer, 24 November 2018) Contact: Global Environment Facility, www.thegef.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Climate Change Mitigation,  Global Environment Facility,  Samoa ,  


    Irish Greens Seek Transition from Fossil Fuel Economy (Int'l)
    Green Party Ireland,Bord na Mona
    Date: 2018-11-09
    In the Irish capital city of Dublin, the Green Party has launched its "Just Transition Bill" calling for a swift move away from a fossil fuel economy to a climate-friendly in the fairest way possible for those who have previously depended on the fossil fuel industries for their livelihood.

    The bill aims to bring about a social, business and government dialogue to formulate and drive the concrete plans, policies, and investments needed for a fast and fair transformation to a low-carbon economy.

    The Green Party initiative follows Bord na Mona's announcement of job cuts in its peat harvesting business by 2025. The Bill proposes that funding currently used to sustain peat-fired power plants be diverted to support job transition, peatland restoration and social protection for those who may lose their jobs in fossil fuel related industries. "The Bill is about moving from a fossil-fuel economy to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy as quickly and as fairly as possible," according to Green Part Leader Eamon Ryan. (Source: Green News ie, 8 Nov., 2018) Contact: Green Party Ireland, Eamon Ryam, Leader, www.greenparty.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Low-Carbon Economy,  Peat,  Bord na Mona,  


    Apple Supporting Carbon Sequestration through Mangrove Restoration (Ind. Report)
    Mangrove, Apple
    Date: 2018-09-17
    Smart Phone juggernaut Apple reports it is investing an undisclosed sum in a project in Colombia to restore mangroves and sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons (18,739 tons) of carbon dioxide in two years. That’s equal to the emissions that the fleet of vehicles updating Apple Maps will produce over the coming decade, according to the Apple release.

    Beyond cutting the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, scientists show that we will also need to pull carbon dioxide from the air to avoid catastrophic climate change. There are six so-called “negative-emissions technologies” that can help us get there: afforestation and reforestation; enhanced weathering (using minerals that capture carbon dioxide); soil carbon (tweaking the crops and forests we currently grow to absorb more carbon); biochar (using a special kind charcoal as to trap carbon dioxide); BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which requires capturing carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass like wood and then burying it underground); and DAC (direct air capture, which involves the use of machines that are essentially trees on steroids to suck carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground).

    Among those negative-emissions technologies, mangrove restoration would be classed as reforestation. The Conservation International project would cover an area of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) in the Sinu river delta. The NGO will use the money raised for the project to help the 12,000 people in the community who use the mangroves for food, firewood, and livelihoods. Conservation International believes the carbon offsets will provide financial security to the region and develop sustainable ways to support tourism and fisheries.

    (Source: Apple, PR, Sept., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sequestration news,  Apple news,  Mangrove news,  



    Date: 2018-09-17
    Apple’s newest smartphones may not have received all-round praise, but its latest environmental initiative surely should. On Friday (Sep. 14), the world’s most valuable company said it is investing an undisclosed sum in a project in Colombia to restore mangroves and sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons (18,739 tons) of carbon dioxide in two years. That’s equal to the emissions that the fleet of vehicles updating Apple Maps will produce over the coming decade.

    “Mangroves live at the edge of the land and sea, providing local communities with coastal protection, habitat for their fisheries, and a wealth of biodiversity,” according to Conservation International, an NGO that’s leading the mangrove restoration project. “These and other ocean wetlands store up to 10 times the carbon per unit area as terrestrial forests, making them a vital ally in the fight against climate change.” A 2016 study of 3,000 deforested mangrove patches found that most of them were being cut down for the use of growing rice, palm trees, or expanding fisheries.

    Beyond cutting the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, scientists show that we will also need to pull carbon dioxide from the air to avoid catastrophic climate change. There are six so-called “negative-emissions technologies” that can help us get there: afforestation and reforestation; enhanced weathering (using minerals that capture carbon dioxide); soil carbon (tweaking the crops and forests we currently grow to absorb more carbon); biochar (using a special kind charcoal as to trap carbon dioxide); BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which requires capturing carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass like wood and then burying it underground); and DAC (direct air capture, which involves the use of machines that are essentially trees on steroids to suck carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground).

    Among those negative-emissions technologies, mangrove restoration would be classed as reforestation. The Conservation International project would cover an area of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) in the Sinu river delta. The NGO will use the money raised for the project to help the 12,000 people in the community who use the mangroves for food, firewood, and livelihoods. Conservation International believes the carbon offsets will provide financial security to the region and develop sustainable ways to support tourism and fisheries.

    Earlier this year, Apple also announced that all of its electricity use in 45 countries is powered by 100% renewable energy. Some of the success of such environmental shifts are down to the lower cost of renewable energy, but much credit also goes to environmental campaigns like Greenpeace’s Click Clean that hold tech companies to account on their sustainability promises. That said, there’s still a long way to go if Apple plans to cut emissions from all its energy use. (Source: Apple, PR, Sept., 2018)


    $4.7Bn Not Enough, Iowa Corn Growers Tell Trump (Ind. Report)
    USDA,Iowa Corn Growers
    Date: 2018-08-29
    The USDA has announced details of a $4.7 billion trade mitigation and aid package for farmers facing possible loses due to the Trump administration's tariffs and trade uncertainty. The aid package will provide some short-term relief, but as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "it will not make farmers whole."

    Profitability is a huge concern for Iowa's corn farmers now facing the fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets.

    The Iowa Corn Farmers Association's message to the Trump administration was clear -- "Corn farmers prefer to have market access to compete in a global marketplace, not rely on government assistance, for their livelihoods. Remove unnecessary trade barriers and restore our access to international markets." (Source: Iowa Corn Growers Association, PR, 27 Aug., 2018)Contact: Iowa Corn Growers Association, (515) 225-9242, www.iowacorn.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn,  USDA,  Corn Ethanol,  


    Philippine Think Tank Opposes Biofuel Act Roll Back (Int'l)
    Philippine Department of Energy
    Date: 2018-08-29
    In the Philippines, the Center for Alcohol Development and Research think tank is warning that the possible suspension of the country's Biofuels Act will imperil the Philippine PHP 30-billion ($562,700.000) bioethanol industry and drive away foreign investment.

    The Philippines bioethanol industry consists of 11 bioethanol companies, each of which invested between PHP 3 billion and PHP 5 billion for a distillery with the capacity of 100,000 lpd, depending on the technology used.

    According to the Department of Energy, "The Biofuels Act is not about lowering the prices of gasoline. It is about the diversification of the sugar industry which empowers the marginalized farmers, sugarcane farmers, it is about rural development. It is about putting the people, making the people go to agriculture, developing our farms, providing a livelihood in rural areas rather than them moving away to Metro Manila."

    The Department of Energy previously called on the country's oil companies to roll out lower priced "Euro 2" diesel fuel in their retail stations to help mitigate the impact of rising inflation to consumers. (Source: Philippine Department of Energy, Center for Alcohol Development and Research, Manila Standard, 27 Aug., 2018)Contact: Philippine Department of Energy, www.doe.gov.ph

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  Bioethanol,  Philippines Ethanol,  

    Showing 1 to 11 of 11.