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Agriculture in Crosshairs as White House Targets Methane Emissions

In March 2014, the Obama administration released a 15-page interagency guidance document that laid out preliminary steps for reducing methane emissions. That document asserts that agricultural operations are the top methane...more

New Research Studies On Invasiveness And Bioenergy Crops

The Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois recently helped fund two research projects that provide recommendations to prevent invasive species from being planted as new crops and used for bioenergy...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

The United States and Several Western Water Providers Enter into a Historic Agreement to Mitigate the Effects of the Drought...

The Colorado River and its extensive system of reservoirs and aqueducts that range from Wyoming to the Mexican border are being depleted by more than a decade of severe drought. As a result, the water levels in the two...more

EPA Outlines Options Under Consideration for Risk Management Program Modernization – Will the "Safety Case" Model Cross the Pond?

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a request for information (RFI) on changes the Agency is considering for its Risk Management Program (RMP) accident prevention regulations under section...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Lands Commission files suit to overturn S.F.'s Prop. B: SFGate.com - Jul 15: The State Lands Commission filed suit Tuesday to overturn San Francisco's voter-approved limits on...more

USDA Issues BioPreferred Rule

On August 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule on "Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement." A copy of the rule is available online. The rule is effective on...more

Current Ethanol Blending Mandate Generates Interesting Opponents and Forces Delay

An increasingly pitched battle between business and agricultural interests over the blending of ethanol in gasoline has turned its focus to EPA’s rulemaking mandate which sets the minimum volume of renewable fuel sold...more

DOE Joins “Farm To Fly” Initiative

DOE will reportedly join the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "Farm to Fly" initiative to help promote the development and use of sustainable aviation biofuels. Under the initiative, USDA, Boeing, and the Air Transport...more

USDA Issues Report On Greenhouse Gases

On July 31, 2014, USDA issued a report on greenhouse gases. According to USDA's press release, the Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory report "for the first time,...more

Rural Nevada Anti-Fracking Group Seeks to Enjoin Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking filed a complaint in federal court on June 27, seeking to enjoin the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from holding an oil and gas lease sale. The rural group is...more

US Supreme Court Denied Certiorari Regarding the Constitutionality of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Today, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari regarding the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey. ...more

U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Funding through Biomass Crop Assistance Program

On June 9, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon begin accepting applications for $12.5...more

Energy & Environment Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of...more

Environmental Working Group Report On Corn Ethanol

The report concludes that "[t]he Environmental Protection Agency's pending proposal to cut the amount of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline in 2014 by 1.39 billion gallons would lower U.S. greenhouse gas...more

Growing Michigan - Second Quarter 2014

For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with administering the United States Clean Water Act. One question that has bedeviled farmers, business owners and individuals – as well as judges and lawyers...more

Energy & Environment Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of...more

Energy from Agricultural Waste

That’s the interesting thing—you’re basically talking about anything that has heat content. Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy predict that within a couple of decades, the country will be turning hundreds of millions...more

State Water Quality Control Board to Consider General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use on June 3, 2014

On June 3, 2014, partially in response to lingering drought conditions throughout the state, the California State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) will consider adopting a “general” waste discharge requirements (“WDR”)...more

USDA Signals Action On BioPreferred Program In Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda

On Friday, May 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its semi-annual regulatory agenda (Agenda) indicating its intended actions and priorities for the remainder of the year. A copy of USDA's Agenda is...more

DOE Publishes Notices Announcing Meeting Of And Solicitation Of Nominees For Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee

On May 19, 2014, two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) notices were published in the Federal Register. The first is a notice of an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee (Committee)....more

House Agriculture Appropriations Bill Would Make Significant Cuts To Mandatory Funding For Farm Bill

On May 20, 2014, the House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee) and the Senate...more

Segetis Receives Minnesota NextGen Energy Grant

On May 19, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that it has awarded Segetis, Inc., a green chemistry company based in the State, a $325,000 NextGen Energy Grant. ...more

Turning Problems Into Profits: Ag Waste-To-Energy Trend Could Be A Boon For New Jersey Lawyers

Scientists at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown are working hard to find new and more efficient ways to transform agricultural waste into energy. In the process, they stand a good chance of creating exciting new...more

USDA Offering Funding For Energy Efficiency Improvements

USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is providing funding for rural small business owners and farmers to make energy efficiency improvements or to install energy systems and is currently accepting applications for...more

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