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Oregon, My Oregon : Leading the Way on Reducing Oil Use Through a Clean Fuels Program

Hats off to Oregon – the land of locally sourced chicken, a frightening number of ghost towns, and now – a model low carbon fuel program.

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Categories: Biofuel, Energy, Vehicles  

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Cars and Mars

Ever have a dream and wake up to find out that it wasn’t a dream after all – that you were actually living the dream?  I think that must be how many of the NASA engineers felt when the rover Curiosity landed on Mars earlier this month, but such dreams aren’t confined to outer space exploration. Right here on the Blue Planet, dreams really can come true…even in Washington, DC, during the so-called “silly season” that is an election year. Read More

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The 2012 U.S. Drought and Our Future

It’s now nearly a month since we started our series of blog posts on the 2012 Drought in America, and during that time we’ve seen its effects spread more and more widely through the network of connections that make up our modern global society. Read More

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Biofuels Policy Flexible Enough to Weather the 2012 U.S. Drought

The drought parching the Midwest is raising serious questions about our agriculture and energy policies. Stocks of corn in storage were already low, and the intense dryness and heat means this year’s crop will be much smaller than was expected even a few months back. The share of the corn crop going to make ethanol has been rising, and was 40 percent last year, heightening tensions over how this year’s suddenly diminished harvest will be divvied up  (the principal uses are ethanol, animal feed, and exports). Read More

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Will the 2012 U.S. Drought Burst the Farmland Property Bubble?

The Midwest drought continues to intensify. As you can see in this animation of how the 2012 drought has spread and deepened over the past 12 weeks, we’re witnessing a major climate impact on our agricultural system that is leading to record corn and soybean prices, among other significant and costly consequences. Lately I’ve started considering the potential long-run impact of this drought on the region and on the entire structure of U.S. agriculture. Read More

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From Muppet Labs to Your Gas Tank: The Emerging Cellulosic Biofuel Industry

One of my role models, Dr. Bunson Honeydew, began each episode of the seminal series, Muppet Labs, by proclaiming, “Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today.”  Although society is still waiting for edible paperclips, electrical nose warmers, or magnetic carrots, the future is indeed being made today in the cellulosic biofuel industry. Read More

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A Good Week for Clean Cars – Unless You Are in the House of Representatives

This week provided 4 important reminders of why we need standards that require the auto industry to build cleaner, more fuel efficient cars and trucks and the benefits these standards will bring for our health, economy and environment. Read More

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DEJA-vu: Another Oil-Backed Attack on Public Health

In less than 36 hours, Congress will once again be voting on your health.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives will consider HR 4480 – Domestic Energy and Jobs Act – or DEJA. It’s aptly named, because as Yogi Berra would say, it certainly feels like “deja-vu all over again” – with fossil fuel lobbyists and their Congressional allies once again attempting to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency by  using false claims about the impacts that future standards could have on gas prices. Read More

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Steve Bantz: The World Is A Little Darker Without Your Light

I just got the very sad news that a former colleague died last week. I only had the pleasure of working with him for a year, but it has hit me square in the chest. Steve was a very special soul. His caring, funny, and passionate nature was immediately obvious from the day I met him. When the world loses a light, especially one so bright, how can it not darken the mind, body, and soul? Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Vehicles  

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“My Mother Told Me to Eat All My Dinner” and the Global Food Market

When I was young, my mother used to tell me to eat all my dinner and would remind me that there were hungry children who would be happy to have what I was leaving on my plate. I’m sure lots of you heard the same thing. And if you were like me, it may have been the first time you actually doubted your parents’ wisdom, since it was obvious that whether I cleaned my plate or not, there was no way that the food would  go to those hungry children. It would end up in the garbage, or at best in a plastic container for me to eat the next day. But it certainly wouldn’t feed the hungry.

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Categories: Biofuel, Food and Agriculture  

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