Home Back Issues June 2014 Driving green

Driving green

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

BY KIM MOORE

Transportation accounts for the second-largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. (28% in 2012), and the use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, is booming in light of state and national programs to make transportation fuels cleaner. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is driving much of the growth nationally. The regulation requires the volume of renewable fuel blended into transportation fuel to grow to 36 billion gallons by 2022 from 9 billion gallons in 2008. The RFS is one reason for the large increase in the value and production of corn, a feedstock for ethanol. Corn was the top agricultural commodity in the U.S. in 2012 by sales value, reaching $67.3 billion, a 69% increase over 2007, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2012 Census of Agriculture. Renewable-fuel targets at the national and state level are also driving imports. U.S. biomass-based diesel imports increased to record levels in 2013. The U.S. switched to being a net importer of biomass-based diesel in 2013 from being a net exporter in 2012.

Local Efforts. The Oregon Clean Fuels Program, approved in 2009 by the state legislature, may lead to a greater use of renewable fuels in the state and could encourage Oregon farmers and businesses to develop clean fuels locally. The regulation aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels in the state by 10% over 10 years. Although Oregon has only one biodiesel producer — SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel —  it has an annual capacity to produce 17 million gallons a year, far outweighing the yearly production capacity of Washington producers.

The number of vehicles in Oregon that use alternative fuels, such as electricity, ethanol and compressed natural gas, increased more than threefold between 2003 and 2011. Alternative fuel use increased only 23% over the same period. This is because vehicles have become more fuel efficient and liquefied petroleum gas, which is included in the overall volume of alternative fuel used, declined 45% over the same timeframe.

Ethanol consumption nationally grew more than threefold between 2003 and 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oregon’s use of ethanol fuel (85% blend) increased more than fourfold between 2003 and 2011. Last year, for the first time, fuel importers and producers were required to report volumes of alternative fuel used under the Clean Fuels Program.

0614BTNefuel

 

More Articles

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS