Enviva, a giant in wood pellets, shifts tree-sourcing policy

Enviva, the largest industrial wood-pellet manufacturer in the world, launched what it calls an “enhanced and expanded global sourcing policy” last week in partnership with Earthworm Foundation, a non-profit that helps businesses reform their supply chains. The announcement came a few weeks after the publication of a report by FERN, in collaboration with The Weather Channel, spotlighting the company’s environmental practices.

Zinke plan for federal land: Drill, baby, drill

The Interior Department would auction off millions of acres of public land for oil and gas development, according to a draft obtained by The Nation of the department's strategic plan for the next five years. "It states that the DOI is committed to achieving 'American energy dominance' through the exploitation of 'vast amounts' of untapped energy reserves on public lands."

Zinke’s travel raises eyebrows

The Inspector General has launched an investigation into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s air travel, after complaints that Zinke was using a private plane owned by an oil executive. That particular flight, from Las Vegas to Zinke’s home state of Montana, cost taxpayers $12,000, according to the Washington Post.  But other taxpayer-funded flights, including one to speak at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, are also being questioned.

Can kelp be the biofuel of the future?

Researchers at the University of Southern California are in the early stages of an experiment to farm seaweed for biofuel in the Pacific Ocean. Kelp can grow two to three feet a day without fertilizer, pesticides, fresh water, or arable land — making it an ideal product for the biofuel industry.

Greens worry over new sage grouse conservation plan

A new sage grouse conservation plan released by the Interior Department has ranchers and energy developers in the West cheering, while environmentalists worry about the endangered bird’s future.

Zinke loads Interior with former oil-and-gas employees

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is stocking the Interior Department with staffers who’ve spent years working for the extractive energy industry, suggesting an agency increasingly less friendly toward public-lands conservation, says Western Values Project, a progressive advocacy …

Oklahoma energy industry behind science and math curriculum

The industry-led Oklahoma Energy Resource Board has spent $50 million since the 1990s training the state's K-12 teachers to teach a science and math curriculum that critics claim is more industry promotion that real education.

EPA will consider permanent reduction in mandate for advanced biofuels

Two months behind schedule, the EPA has proposed the targets for renewable fuel use in 2018 — corn-based ethanol in its usual place as the primary biofuel, at 15 billion gallons, and so-called advanced biofuels at 4.24 billion gallons. The agency said it will begin the technical analysis that could lead to a permanently lower mandate for advanced biofuels, which are being produced in far smaller quantities than envisioned in a 2007 law.

E15 is the doorway for cellulosic biofuels, says trade group

The Advanced Biofuels Business Council told the Senate Environment Committee that year-round sales of E15 would widen the market for cellulosic ethanol, made from gasses and woody plants, reported DTN. At present, E15, a 15 percent mix of ethanol and gasoline, cannot be sold during the summer because of air pollution rules.

Trump dumps Clean Power plan

President Trump officially rolled back Obama’s Clean Power Plan, signing a document called the “Energy Independence” executive order, says The New York Times. Even though many economists have said that the rise in demand for natural gas — and not climate change regulations — are to blame for a depressed coal market, Trump promised his order would put the miners back to work.