Scorching Summer Drives California Innovation and Biofuels
by Graham Noyes (Low Carbon Fuels Coalition/Biofuels Digest) California’s politicians and people are responding to the state’s increasingly dire symptoms of climate change with innovation, resolve, and biofuel policies.
California’s determination to recapture its milder and less fire-prone environment is best reflected by two ambitious climate and energy bills. Senator Fran Pavley, the original architect of AB 32 and esteemed environmental leader, is now advancing SB 32. SB 32 would require California to reduce its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions 40% below the 1990 level by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Senator pro Tempore Kevin de Leon is pursuing a complementary measure, SB 350. SB 350 would reduce petroleum use in California by 50%, and increase energy efficiency and renewable power in the state by 50%, with all of these changes to be achieved by the year 2030.
As one might expect, some incumbent industries are responding to these measures with stark predictions of economic distress. Yet it is clear that the political landscape has changed drastically from just one year ago. “The oil industry is in deep trouble,” Governor Jerry Brown told reporters Monday at a news conference on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Oil companies “have a product that is highly destructive, while highly valuable at the same time. And we’re trying to work out the right policies,” LA Times.
This session, Assembly Member Perea is working to balance GGRF (California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) spending to benefit a broader range of Californians, including those living in the Central Valley. He is the sponsor of AB 1176, a bill that if approved will deliver GHG and diesel particulate reduction to communities that are disproportionally impacted by environmental hazards. AB 1176 will achieve these reductions by providing new fueling infrastructure for biomass-based diesel fuels.
The proposed budgets of the Governor, Assembly and Senate all agree that ARB’s annual funding for low carbon transportation should increase from $200M to $350M this year, but it remains unresolved whether low carbon fuel production should receive a portion of these funds.
The Low Carbon Fuels Coalition and other stakeholders are actively supporting the designation of a portion of these funds for biofuels, biogas and other low carbon fuels. READ MORE
Toxic Gas Emissions Topic of Science Cafe
( Nebraska Ethanol Board/Ethanol Producer Magazine) … “The fuels combusted on our nation’s roadways are a predominant source of the most dangerous particle-borne toxic emissions,” said (David) Hallberg, an Omaha resident. “Adding toxic carcinogens to gasoline is the way oil companies achieve the octane your engine needs to perform. Using more biofuels is a non-toxic octane enhancer and a proven method of reducing those toxic levels.”
Hallberg has served as legislative director in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and was actively involved in drafting and enactment of much of the ethanol industry’s formative legislation from 1977 to 1981. Hallberg founded and served as president/CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association from 1981-1985. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the G8 Forum on climate change in Shonan Village, Japan, in 2001.
Hallberg is the inventor of three U.S. patents for integrated processes to produce renewable fuels and reduce carbon emissions. READ MORE