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Remodeling market continues to spur US lumber demand
The U.S. lumber market will continue to rebound in 2015, following a year which saw demand strengthen due to an improving construction market. According to the Western Wood Products Association, U.S. lumber demand is projected to rise 8 percent to 44.87 billion board feet in 2015.
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The 5 most maddening myths about corn and ethanol
Technology advances, but sometimes the myths that were born during their earliest days days persist long after they have exceeded their shelf life. the author knows more than a few people, even now, who routinely avoid the use of ATM machines, still preferring over-the-counter banking, because of problems experienced long ago with this machine or that.
Green building materials market to reach $235 billion by 2019
The green building materials market, valued $106.32 billion in 2012, is expected to reach $234.77 billion by 2019 at a CAGR of 12.5 percent during the 2013-2019 forecast period, according to a Transparency Market Research report.
Green Building Materials Market — Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 — 2019 says the global green building materials market is driven by factors such a positive effect of green building on human health, government support, shift towards green building and rising demand from construction industry.
EPA provides update on Clean Power Plan rulemaking
On Dec. 7, the U.S. EPA held a media call to provide the public with an update of its plans for the Clean Power Plan and carbon pollution standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plants in the new year. During the call, Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation noted the agency aims to finalize its three carbon pollution proposals by mid-summer.
Big biomass 101: When burning wood for energy makes sense
The Huffington Post
The great boreal forest straddles the country and provinces from Nova Scotia to British Columbia have ample forestry resources. In a place like Canada biomass to energy can make a lot of sense. So David Dodge and Duncan Kinney headed to the largest, closest biomass operation they could find — the Alberta Pacific Forest Industries pulp mill.
High school team files patent application for new highly effective, eco-friendly flame retardant
Fire consumes wood ferociously, in a deadly blaze — but the substances used to treat wood to resist burning can also be noxious and toxic. A Stony Brook University Materials Science Professor guided an undergraduate and two Long Island high school students as they developed a patent-pending, environmentally sustainable way to render the wood used in construction flame retardant — and 5 times stronger — using natural materials.
How will cheap oil affect the housing market?
The collapse in the price of oil continues to make waves throughout the global economy and financial markets. In recent days, investors have fled to safer assets as markets attempt to parse the effects of cheap oil: will lower capital spending by energy companies have unforeseen business consequences? Will cheaper fuel spark a wave of consumer spending?
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Use genetically modified organisms to make better biofuels
Biofuels have long been studied and, like many alternative fuels, given corporate subsidies by the government, but they haven't made much progress. And that isn't just because subsidies discourage innovation, it is because of biology. Lignin, which is found in cell walls in plants, is tough.
Construction hiring is surging
The construction industry, hit hard by the housing crash and recession, is ramping up hiring in an encouraging sign for job and wage growth this year.
Contractors added 48,000 jobs in December, the most since last January, and 290,000 in 2014, a nine-year high. That helped push overall payroll growth to 252,000 last month as the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent, the Labor Department said recently.
Crop outlook reveals lower corn prices, shrinking demand from biofuels
The crop demand outlook for the 2014/15 marketing year is a mixed bag, according to Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
Westhoff gave attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show a glimpse into how this year’s bumper crop and low prices will impact farmers and ranchers as they head into 2015.
US can reach 50 percent renewable generation by 2030
The U.S. could get nearly 50 percent of its generation from renewable sources by 2030 with existing technologies and the right policies and investments, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Jan. 12.
The report is one of the first in IRENA’s Remap 2030 series, which explores how to double the global share of renewable energy from 18 percent to 36 percent by 2030.
Could forests help states offset coal plant emissions under EPA rule?
A funny thing happens when states are told to cut greenhouse gas emissions or shut down their coal plants: they start looking for solutions in unexpected places, like forests.
The EPA's draft rule to cut power sector carbon emissions suggests states could reach their targets by making coal plants more efficient, using more natural gas and renewable energy and reducing power consumption. But it doesn't limit them to those options.
Which biofuels ventures can beat out cheap oil?
“Good companies make money in good markets, but great companies make money in tough markets,” and by most accounts, the $50 oil market offers some tough times for biofuels. It took “seven sisters” to build out the world’s oil economy — are there seven (or more) companies that have pro-formas showing biofuels competitive with $70 oil? Turns out, there are.
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