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Arguing over the pros and cons of using ethanol as a transportation fuel isn't just an American thing. The Brazilians are going at it, too. We will translate.

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The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."

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The green car rhetoric of President Obama's State Of The Union speech last night was much, much softer than it was three years ago. That was when he spoke about a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. It was even less vociferous than last year, when Obama said we could take money given to oil and gas companies and put it into an "Energy Security Trust." So, what is the state of the green car union for 2014? In a word: renewable. In two more words: natural gas.

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In the simplest terms, when higher-ethanol blend fuels spill, they can make buildings go boom. And the study that says this was funded, in part, by Chevron and Shell as well as the American Petroleum Institute, while the report was generated by Rice University in Houston. All clear on the players? Good. Let's proceed.

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A public meeting room was packed recently as the US Environmental Protection listened to comments about its recent Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) decision. About 300 people packed the room, and the two sides were clearly marked. Some people were biofuel producers or Iowa farmers wearing "Don't Mess with RFS" buttons; others wore "Save my Engine" t-shirts handed out by Energy Citizens, a group funded by American Petroleum Institute.

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AP report already causing backlash from farmers and lobbyists

Across the Dakotas and Nebraska, more than 1 million acres of the Great Plains are giving way to cornfields as farmers transform the wild expanse that once served as the backdrop for American pioneers.

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AAA is continuing its assault against higher ethanol use in the transportation energy, speaking out in support of reducing the renewable fuel mandate for 2014. The organization said that renewable-fuel requirements need to be lowered to avoid the so-called "blend wall" that could drive up gas prices. In addition to the threat of such higher prices, AAA continued to call gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend, or E15, "potentially damaging" to vehicles compared to the typical 10-percent blend b

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Sometimes, you just need some simple pictures to prove your point. If you're the Union of Concerned Scientists and you want to let people know that "we can half it" (oil use, that it) by supporting more electric cars and biofuel use, then a couple of bright infographics might do the trick.

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Fear not, American ethanol advocates, the world biofuel community is taking a stand. The Renewable Fuels Association, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association are among those crying foul about a recent United Nations report that looks at how biofuels (like corn-based ethanol) impact farming and are potentially a cause for food shortages, Ethanol Producer reports.

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Biodiesel can be an affordable alternative fuel, but when there's RIN fraud involved, it can cost over $100 million. That's the cost to victims – biodiesel buyers and the IRS – in a biodiesel fraud case in Indiana perpetrated by six individuals and three companies, as announced by the Justice Department today. The alleged criminals committed a whole heap – that is, 88 - illegal acts, including "conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act,

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recognizes that ethanol will likely continue to predominate the renewable fuel pool in the near future, and that for 2014 the ability of the market to consume ethanol in higher blends such as E85 is highly constrained as a result of infrastructure- and market-related factors. EPA does not currently foresee a scenario in which the market could consume enough ethanol sold in blends greater than E10, and/or produce sufficient volumes of non-ethanol biofuels to meet the volumes of total renewable fu

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The battle over selling a higher ethanol blend of gasoline in light-duty vehicle fuel is back in the headlines, as some members of Congress are now suggesting an overhaul of the 2007 ethanol mandate, the Detroit News says.

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Cellulosic bio-ethanol is poised to see large scale production for the first time next year. Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is ready to start construction of a plant in early 2014 that will produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol annually, later ramping up to 25 million gallons. That's a lot, but to compare, the US uses 8.7 million barrels of gasoline per day (2011 average), not counting diesel fuel, and the US makes an average 832,000 barrels of corn-based ethanol each day.

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Mention the term "e. coli" here in the US, and one gets visions of sick cows and poisonous burgers. Reference e. coli with some groundbreaking work performed by UK's University of Exeter, and things get a little more positive.

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Photosynthesis is one of the very first topics taught in biology. The process by which plants use the sun to convert light energy into chemical energy is at the basis of life as we know it. And while humans have adapted solar technology to build off of Mother Nature's time-tested solution, a few companies have begun to use algae as a source of energy, again catalyzed by the sun.

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Count Pearson Fuels, and the state of California for that matter, is among proponents of boosting ethanol content in light-duty vehicle fuel. San Diego-based Person received a $1.35-million grant to add pumps that distribute fuel with an 85-percent ethanol mix – i.e. E85 – at 19 new gas stations throughout the Golden State.

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Those keeping score of the pro vs. against biofuel camps can add another point for the advocates since the federal government has agreed to divert more funds towards the expansion of biofuels. Specifically, the US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $10 million to five products designed to speed up technology related to converting biomass to fuel.

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With the so-called fiscal cliff looming like a New Year's Day hangover, US lawmakers were able to strike an eleventh-hour deal that should prove beneficial to couples making less than $450,000 a year. Like any piece of US legislation, though, there was enough pork stuffed inside to ensure lobbyists and well-connected constituents remain happy. As a part of the deal, a few tax credits were extended that pertain to the automotive world.

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A US ethanol glut is causing some biofuels producers to go full circle by diverting their corn from fuel production towards food products such as energy bars and fish food, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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