Heard on the Floor at the DOE’s Biomass 2014 conference: Pacific Ethanol, Growth Energy, NRDC, RSB in the newsmix

July 30, 2014 |

The DOE’s annual BIOMASS 2014 conference is underway in DC. Among the stories heard on the floor:

Pacific Ethanol announced it was awarded a $3 million matching grant from the California Energy Commission to develop a sorghum feedstock program collaboratively with Chromatin, Inc., CSU Fresno’s Center for Irrigation Technology and the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

This undertaking also includes the California In-State Sorghum Program to support a lasting expansion in California’s ability to produce low-carbon ethanol from in-state feedstock that meets both the renewable fuel and greenhouse gas reduction goals stipulated under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard.

Neil Koehler, the company’s president and CEO, stated: “We are honored to receive this important grant, which supports Pacific Ethanol’s collaboration with California Agriculture and the other ethanol producers in California toward the long-term development of sorghum feedstock for advanced biofuel production at both our Madera and Stockton California facilities.”

Growth Energy welcomed Western New York Energy LLC as its newest member. Western New York Energy is located in Medina, N.Y. Western New York Energy LLC processes approximately 20 million bushels of corn into over 55 million gallons of ethanol annually, which is blended with gasoline throughout western New York. The facility also produces 160,000 tons of highly nutritious animal feed for the region.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, in a report entitled “Biofuel Sustainability Performance Guidelines”, concluded that RSB is the best performing certification system. The report notes that “third party certification systems vary significantly in stringency and protectiveness” and that “RSB ranked highest for helping to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability of biofuels production practices around the globe.” The Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials certification system checks each stage in biofuel production for impacts on water quality, soil, biodiversity, air quality, land use, and waste, as well as the social impacts on economic issues, human rights, food security, and workforce safety. RSB standards and guidelines as well as a list of certified sustainable operators can be found on www.rsb.org.

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