The five-year farm bill signed by President Obama today won the praise of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which said the bill benefits the industry by defining renewable biochemicals, Domestic Fuel reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to send a massive, five-year farm bill that provides food for the needy and subsidies for the nation's farmers to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.
The Senate was expected to pass the almost $100 billion-a-year compromise bill Tuesday; the House passed it last week. The bill provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions, while also continuing to subsidize services for rural residents and communities who have hit hard times in recent years. The majority of the bill's cost is food stamps, which supplement meal costs for 1 in 7 Americans.
House Republicans had hoped to trim the bill's costs, pointing to a booming agriculture sector in recent years and saying the now $80 billion-a-year food stamp program has spiraled out of control. Partisan disagreements stalled the bill for more than two years, but conservatives were eventually outnumbered as the Democratic Senate, the White House and a still-powerful bipartisan coalition of farm-state lawmakers pushed to get the bill done.
President Barack Obama continues to get pressure from Capitol Hill to soften, if not reverse, a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut biofuels use this year under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
On Thursday, a group of 30 House lawmakers wrote to Obama objecting to the plan. The letter followed protests raised by Senate Democrats at a meeting with Obama at the White House Wednesday on his 2014 agenda, and at a meeting in December that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy held with 16 pro-biofuels senators from both parties.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is promising her agency would "take another look" at its proposal to cut biofuel blending levels under next year's Renewable Fuel Standard, Reuters reports.
CHICAGO (AP) — Archer Daniels Midland Co. decided Wednesday to set up its new international headquarters in Chicago even after it failed in its bid for millions of dollars in state tax breaks. The move was the latest twist in the debate about how far Illinois and other states should go to lure and keep companies.
The Environmental Protection Agency invalidated 33.5 million renewable identification numbers sold by Indiana's E-Biofuels, alleging the company didn't produce the biofuels it claimed, Bloomberg reports.
The Renewable Fuels Association urged Congress to act on legislation introduced by Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., that would extend tax credits for biofuel producers set to expire at the end of the year, Biomass Magazine reports.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the branch is moving forward with an initiative with the Agriculture Department to make more regular purchases of bulk biofuels to power naval aircraft and vessels, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
As Congress prepares for its first hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard since the Obama administration lowered biofuels targets, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer said the proposal may be a good compromise.
"They may actually have just touched the sweet spot," Boxer said Tuesday about the Environmental Protection Agency's 2014 controversial usage proposal. Her committee is set for a hearing on the issue Wednesday.
Americans support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, although many have concerns about its environmental impact, according to a new poll commissioned by ABC and The Washington Post, the Post reports.
The major concern for the world's top oil company executives, gathered in Houston for the CERAWeek conference this week, appeared to be the soaring costs of exploration and production, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Administrator Gina McCarthy wouldn't say whether the EPA might consider a carbon rule for refineries, telling the CERAWeek conference Thursday that her agency's focus now remains on power plants, National Journal reports.
Oil companies aren't publishing all of the information they should in the FracFocus registry, according to a draft report by an Energy Department advisory panel, which also found errors in some of the data, FuelFix reports.