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

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


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