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Energy

EWG is working toward an energy future in which clean, safe and economical sources such as solar and wind power replace dirty, dangerous and expensive coal and nuclear power. We're also investigating the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals in oil and gas drilling, toxic gasoline additives such as corn ethanol and MTBE, uranium mining on public lands, and the transport of nuclear waste through American cities.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President Barak Obama’s call to “stop subsidizing yesterday’s energy” in his State of the Union speech last night was welcome, but the President missed an opportunity to focus attention on the misguided federal subsidies that prop up the corn ethanol industry and the equally expensive and wasteful subsidies paid to farmers.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Friday, January 21, 2011

Here’s who lost out today (Jan. 21) when the Environmental Protection Agency decided to allow the use of fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) in any gas-powered car or truck built since 2001:

  • Car owners whose engines and catalytic converters may be damaged even as auto makers void their warranties.
  • Owners of lawnmowers, outboard motors, chain saws, ATVs and a host of other outdoor tools whose engines will break down if they’re fueled with E15.
  • The environment, as this misguided policy encourages all-out corn production and the massive water pollution that results, ultimately reinforcing the devastating “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay.
  • Birds and other wildlife, which will lose habitat as large-scale farmers expand into marginal and highly erodible land.
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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A group of corn ethanol producers is mounting an aggressive campaign they call their “Fueling Freedom Plan” that would have taxpayers spend scarce resources on biofuels pipelines, gas station pumps and other infrastructure development in order to put ethanol on “a level playing field” with gasoline – and into the tank of every engine in America.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

EWG objects to EPA decision to allow sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) in flexible-fuel or 2007 and newer vehicles.  The gasoline-ethanol mix can damage older vehicles and small engines.

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ok, our list of the "worst" environmental stories of the year was a bit of a downer. So here are EWG's Top 10 good environmental news stories.

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Key Issues:
News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We polled our staff to see what stories they thought had the biggest impact, for better or worse. Here are the results:

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whether it’s from flood, fire or a tornado, there are few more devastating events than losing a home. But it’s hard to equal the shock of having your house suddenly just blow up.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Article
Friday, December 3, 2010

Rumors are flying that the lame duck Congress will attach an extension of the so-called ethanol “blender’s tax credit” to a bill to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts as part of a broader deal. Here are the Top 10 reasons – based on previously released EWG research – why Congress should say no to the tax credit extension.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Article
Thursday, December 2, 2010

On Wednesday (Dec 1), 15 senators from Corn Belt states sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell asking them to extend the ethanol tax credits and tariff protection that expire at the end of the month.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea party backers, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, and the bulk of the U.S. meat and dairy industry joined forces today, calling on Congressional leaders to eliminate a wasteful taxpayer-funded subsidy that largely lines the pockets of companies that blend ethanol with fuel, including BP, Shell and Chevron. Go here to read the letter asking Congress to roll back support for corn ethanol from 59 groups.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, November 29, 2010

EWG joins a diverse group of business associations, hunger and development organizations, taxpayer advocates, agricultural groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks and public interest organizations to urge an end to the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This month’s election is being called a referendum on taxpayer-funded bailouts and wasteful federal spending, but Congress may not have gotten the message. It’s poised to approve billions in additional federal subsidies to the corn ethanol industry in the lame duck session that began this week.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eight years ago, there were 61 plants producing ethanol to blend with gasoline in the United States; today there are about 200. Eight years ago, 13 percent of those plants used a feedstock other than corn; today, just 5 percent rely on alternatives like wood waste, sugar cane or cheese whey.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Article
Monday, November 15, 2010

Eight years ago, the ethanol industry was keeping up the pretence that corn ethanol was a “bridge” to advanced biofuels. But figures like these, derived from the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) own Annual Industry Outlook, tell a different story.

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Key Issues:
Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, November 1, 2010

Pro sports teams regularly use signing bonuses to lure the star athletes they want. Now some Texas school districts are taking the bait, too.

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Key Issues:
News and Analysis
Article
Friday, October 29, 2010

In a fall season rife with bad news for the corn ethanol industry, its lobby has been hyping a new partnership with NASCAR. According to USA Today, NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France announced the sponsorship before the Oct. 16 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Even as it announced several initiatives to promote development of advanced biofuels, the Obama Administration made clear Thursday (Oct. 21) that it’s not prepared to let go of corn ethanol and other first-generation fuels whose existence relies heavily on expensive tax breaks and tariffs.

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AgMag
Article
Monday, July 26, 2010

Hopes for comprehensive legislation to combat climate pollution evaporated Thursday (July 22) after months of wrangling in the Senate. In its place Senate leaders are proposing what is being billed as an “oil-spill only” bill with a few added energy provisions.

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, July 15, 2010

As AgMag noted the other day, Massachusetts has decided to rewrite its rules for renewable energy to exclude electric-only power plants that would burn biomass, often in the form of whole trees. Ian A.

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Key Issues:
AgMag
Article
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In an bid to garner support for legislation to address the looming danger of climate change, Midwest senators are reportedly pressing to attach a long-term extension of biofuel tax breaks to a Senate energy bill being crafted by Democratic leaders. The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), currently set to expire on Dec. 31, pays oil companies $0.45 per gallon in the form of tax credits to blend ethanol with gasoline.

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AgMag
Article

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