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Girl Scouts in Washington and Peat Forests in Malaysia – What’s the Link?

What  do these two things have to do with each other? The connection is palm oil, which is a major threat to tropical forests. This week brought important developments on both fronts: a whirlwind visit to political leaders in Washington by the two Girl Scouts who are leading the campaign to make Girl Scout cookies deforestation-free, and a scientific paper showing just why their work is so important — not just for orangutans, but for global warming as well.

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Mean and Green: The Navy’s Stand on Advanced Biofuels

“Then we needed steel for our vessels, but were getting all of the steel from the UK and Germany. So the US Navy created the US steel industry. Is the biofuel plan an aggressive goal? Yes, but small goals deliver small results.” – Thomas Hicks of the U.S. Navy as quoted in the Guardian, March 12, 2012 Read More

Categories: Biofuel  

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A Swift Kick, or a Polite Tap on the Shoulder

Last week, Mathew Wald of the New York Times wrote an article about small fines that are being levied against the oil companies for failure to comply with Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates for cellulosic biofuels. Wald reasoned that it was odd or perhaps unreasonable for the EPA to fine oil companies for failure to buy cellulosic biofuels, given that none of it is available in the marketplace. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Fossil Fuels  

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There’s a Corn Ethanol “Spill” Every Day

Last week an OpEd in the New York Times called attention to the agricultural activities damaging  the Ogallala aquifer, both depleting the aquifer by using water faster than it is replaced, and polluting it with fertilizer and pesticides.  Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Energy  

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Retired Military Brass Set Sights on America’s Oil Dependence

It’s not surprising, but America’s retired military officers are sounding the alarm on America’s dangerous dependence on oil.  In an OpEd published on Nov. 2 in The Hill, retired four-star General Paul Kern, U.S. Army (Ret.) 
and Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (Ret.) called for the country to cuts its oil dependence 30 percent within the next decade.  Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Energy, Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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The National Academy Offers a Bracing Assessment of the Renewable Fuel Standard

Today is an inspection day for U.S. clean energy, as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued an assessment on the progress we’ve made in supplanting fossil fuels with domestically produced biofuels. I was surprised, taken aback and impressed by the frankness of the report, which NAS prepared at the request of Congress. Read More

Categories: Biofuel  

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The Fuels of Tomorrow Are Here Today (So Let’s Use Them)

Pop Quiz: How much did you spend on gas at your last fill up? Was it more than $4 a gallon? If your answer was “I don’t know,” you’re in good company. Gas prices are so volatile we’re lucky they don’t change between when we pull into the station and when we start pumping. Read More

Categories: Biofuel  

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A Billion Dollars Every Day for Foreign Oil??!! – I Want My Money Back

There are a lot of reasons why I’m not a big fan of America’s reliance on oil.  It’s definitely not the safest, healthiest, or cleanest way to power our cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Energy, Global Warming, Vehicles  

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The Billion Gallon Challenge – Getting Advanced Biofuels Back on Track

Most of my work at the Union of Concerned Scientists centers on meeting the Billion Gallon Challenge. Getting cellulosic biofuels up to commercial scale is the key next step on the road to biofuels that deliver the oil savings and climate change benefits that have long been promised. Read More

Categories: Biofuel  

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Keep on the Sunny Side

The Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently released an important update to their assessment on biomass availability. The “Billion Ton Update” catalogs the current and future availability of biomass to use for fuel or energy. Read More

Categories: Biofuel  

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