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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2012
Maryland and other Chesapeake Bay states struggling to clean up the degraded estuary should do more to encourage projects that convert farm animal manure to energy, a new report says. The report released Thursday by the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative advisory body, suggests more than a dozen policy changes aimed at boosting development of manure-based energy projects. One proposal, for example, would require utilities to purchase a certain amount of such power, as they must now from solar and wind facilities.
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NEWS
September 17, 2013
It's strange that Reid Detchon calls for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to endure given that his employer - the United Nations - has repeatedly pleaded with the United States to reign in this biofuels policy due to its detrimental effects on global food prices (" How Big Poultry sided with Big Oil," Sept. 11). Last year, more than 40 percent of the nation's corn crop went to ethanol production - not food - because the RFS requires that more and more ethanol be blended into our gasoline.
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Tim Wheeler | February 17, 2012
A federal investigation of fraud in the renewable fuels industry in Baltimore and Texas has drawn congressional interest, with Republican leaders of a House panel expressing concern that the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of the cases could cause significant problems for the nation's motor fuels markets. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the energy and power subcommittee chairman, Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., wrote the EPA's director of transportation and air quality earlier this month requesting a briefing on the investigation and questioning the agency's enforcement action against energy companies that bought the allegedly phony renewable fuel credits.
NEWS
By Reid Detchon | September 11, 2013
Oil is essential to our economic and national security because our transportation system runs on it. The danger of this monopoly is that consumers must pay whatever price is charged for gasoline or diesel. The danger to our nation is that our foreign policy and military strategy are hostage to the need to protect oil supplies in the Middle East. The only way out of this box is to give consumers something new — a choice in fuels. The most powerful step that Washington has ever taken toward energy independence — the goal of half a dozen presidents, including George H.W. Bush, for whom I served in the Energy Department — was a 2007 law that put us on a path toward a competitive transportation fuel market through the production and consumption of renewable fuel in America.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2011
The U.S. attorney's office has charged the owner of a White Marsh fuel company with money laundering and wire fraud, accusing him of attempting to sell more than $9 million in renewable fuel credits that he did not produce. Rodney R. Hailey, 33, of Perry Hall, owner of Clean Green Fuel LLC, has also been charged with violating the Clean Air Act, and he is expected to be arraigned on Oct. 13. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 10 years for money laundering and two years for violating the Clean Air Act. The U.S. attorney's office said that oil companies that market petroleum are required to produce renewable fuel or purchase fuel credits, called renewable identification numbers [RINs]
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | June 26, 2013
Fluctuating gas prices are shaping consumer behavior, a public opinion poll out today shows. A poll of 1,000 adults by Fuels America found that social or family-related activities take the biggest hit when it comes to cutting things from the family budget. Here are the findings from research firm Research Now, which conducted interviews this month.  When gas prices rise: -55 percent take fewer road trips to visit friends and family. -27 percent eat out less. -17 percent cut back on shopping for clothes.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2012
A federal jury convicted a Perry Hall man Monday of wire fraud and money laundering for selling $9 million worth of bogus biodiesel credits to commodities brokers and oil companies - a case that has shaken the nation's renewable-fuel industry and prompted congressional inquiries about the adequacy of federal oversight. Rodney R. Hailey, 33, founder of Clean Green Fuel, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each of eight counts of wire fraud, 10 years for each of 32 money-laundering counts and two years each for the two counts of violating the Clean Air Act. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr., ordered Hailey taken into custody and set sentencing for Oct. 11. The jury took just 75 minutes to reach a verdict after a six-day trial that featured testimony about Hailey's splurging on luxury cars, real estate and diamond jewelry with proceeds from his sales of renewable fuel credits supposedly representing 23 million gallons of biodiesel.
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By Alison Matas, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
A Perry Hall man was sentenced Friday to 121/2 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $42 million in restitution after being convicted of selling $9 million worth of fake biodiesel fuel credits to oil companies and commodities brokers. Rodney R. Hailey, 34, was found guilty in June of eight counts of wire fraud, 32 counts of money laundering and two counts of violating the Clean Air Act. Hailey operated Clean Green Fuel, a company that purportedly created renewable fuel from waste cooking oil but sold credits for more than 23 million gallons of biodiesel he never made.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2012
The defense lawyer for a Perry Hall man accused of fraudulently selling $9 million worth of fake renewable fuel credits said he didn't deceive anybody because victims knew they were buying phony credits for an unworkable federal energy program. Rodney R. Hailey's lawyer, assistant public defender Douglas R. Miller, contended that the large commodities brokerages and the oil company that bought Hailey's fuel credits didn't care that the credits were fake. "Everybody needed [credits]
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | August 8, 2008
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency rejected yesterday a request to cut the quota for the use of ethanol in cars, concluding, for now, that the goal of reducing the nation's reliance on oil trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said that the mandate was "strengthening our nation's energy security and supporting American farming communities" and that the it was not causing "severe harm to the economy or the environment."
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | June 26, 2013
Fluctuating gas prices are shaping consumer behavior, a public opinion poll out today shows. A poll of 1,000 adults by Fuels America found that social or family-related activities take the biggest hit when it comes to cutting things from the family budget. Here are the findings from research firm Research Now, which conducted interviews this month.  When gas prices rise: -55 percent take fewer road trips to visit friends and family. -27 percent eat out less. -17 percent cut back on shopping for clothes.
NEWS
May 29, 2013
While the petroleum industry and alternative fuels supporters debate the merits of more domestic drilling versus providing assistance through the federal Renewable Fuels Standard in diversifying the transportation fuels market, it's important to note the protections afforded American consumers by the country's first commercially available advanced biofuel - biodiesel. Livestock producers such as the National Pork Producers Council have long been on record supporting biodiesel production because it reduces livestock costs, which ultimately benefits consumers.
NEWS
Tim Wheeler | March 14, 2013
A deal environmentalists thought had been worked out to stop mostly out-of-state paper mills from cashing in on Maryland's renewable energy law by burning so-called "black liquor" has come unglued. The state's only paper plant in Allegany County has backtracked on a pledge not to oppose the move in return for being allowed to keep collecting from the state's utility customers for another five years. The New Page mill in Luke and several others out of state have reaped millions of dollarsfrom Maryland ratepayers over the past eight years by taking advantage of an obscure provision in the "renewable portfolio standard" law, passed in 2004 to reduce the state's reliance on climate-warming fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. Under the law, Maryland's electricity suppliers must increase the amount of power generated  from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2022.
FEATURES
By Alison Matas, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
A Perry Hall man was sentenced Friday to 121/2 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $42 million in restitution after being convicted of selling $9 million worth of fake biodiesel fuel credits to oil companies and commodities brokers. Rodney R. Hailey, 34, was found guilty in June of eight counts of wire fraud, 32 counts of money laundering and two counts of violating the Clean Air Act. Hailey operated Clean Green Fuel, a company that purportedly created renewable fuel from waste cooking oil but sold credits for more than 23 million gallons of biodiesel he never made.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2012
Lee Richardson is a pioneer of sorts in taking a new look at a very old energy source. The Wicomico County poultry farmer just finished installing a commercial-sized wood pellet stove to heat one of his chicken houses in Willards, east of Salisbury. When his next flock of chicks arrives from Perdue, Richardson will test how the wood-warmed birds fare compared with those raised in a neighboring house, which is heated by burning propane gas. "We're going to run it for a year and see what happens," Richardson said.
NEWS
By Ernie Shea | September 20, 2012
Corn prices have reached record highs as a result of this summer's devastating drought, and it hasn't taken long for some to use the crisis as leverage for their own political agendas - namely, the opposition to domestic renewable fuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that a certain portion of America's fuel come from homegrown, renewable sources, is under attack. The standard passed Congress with bipartisan support in 2007 in order to reduce foreign oil imports, create jobs and lower the cost of gasoline.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,tim.wheeler@baltsun.com | January 5, 2010
A biofuel startup with a Baltimore production plant is planning to expand and hire this year, as orders for its cleaner-burning fuel grow, according to the firm's chief executive officer. New Generation Biofuels, which processes vegetable and soybean oil into fuel for heating buildings, generating electricity and running ships, intends to triple production capacity at its southern Baltimore facility from 5 million gallons per year to 15 million gallons annually, said CEO Cary Claiborne.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler | January 5, 2010
A biofuel startup with a Baltimore production plant is planning to expand and hire this year, as orders for its cleaner-burning fuel grow, according to the firm's chief executive officer. New Generation Biofuels, which processes vegetable and soybean oil into fuel for heating buildings, generating electricity and running ships, intends to triple production capacity at its southern Baltimore facility from 5 million gallons per year to 15 million gallons annually, said CEO Cary Claiborne.
NEWS
By Dave Juday | August 26, 2012
This year's drought, along with recent news reports of the lowest corn yield in 17 years, has rekindled the food vs. fuel debate - and, for good reasons. When Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007, an ambitious schedule for incorporating ethanol into the nation's fuel supply known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established. Though ethanol was sold as a way to make our energy supply more secure, little consideration was given to what every farmer knows: Mother Nature can be fickle, as this year's drought proves.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2012
A federal jury convicted a Perry Hall man Monday of wire fraud and money laundering for selling $9 million worth of bogus biodiesel credits to commodities brokers and oil companies - a case that has shaken the nation's renewable-fuel industry and prompted congressional inquiries about the adequacy of federal oversight. Rodney R. Hailey, 33, founder of Clean Green Fuel, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each of eight counts of wire fraud, 10 years for each of 32 money-laundering counts and two years each for the two counts of violating the Clean Air Act. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr., ordered Hailey taken into custody and set sentencing for Oct. 11. The jury took just 75 minutes to reach a verdict after a six-day trial that featured testimony about Hailey's splurging on luxury cars, real estate and diamond jewelry with proceeds from his sales of renewable fuel credits supposedly representing 23 million gallons of biodiesel.
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