It’s the early days of the Trump administration and already the signs of change are apparent as the new president fulfills his promise to shake up the establishment in Washington and return government to the people. One change we do not expect to see, however, is any retreat on the nation’s renewable fuels policy. We believe the industry will continue to grow and thrive as President Trump puts America and American energy first.
In a point-by-point answer to a number of plaintiffs who filed suit challenging how the Renewable Fuel Standard is implemented, attorneys for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contend in a legal brief filed on Tuesday the agency followed the law. Ahead of oral arguments scheduled for April 24 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the 165-page brief outlines the agency’s defense on a number of fronts. That defense includes the agency’s reasoning for denying a petition to change the point of obligation in the RFS, the setting of advanced biofuels volumes for 2017-18, and a number of issues raised by biofuels, agriculture and petroleum interest groups alike.
Although the development of a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol industry has faced myriad challenges, Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels announced Thursday it is making progress in jumpstarting its cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The company announced in a news release that it is set to build an on-site enzyme manufacturing facility.
Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is confirmed, two sources who attended the meeting told Reuters on Wednesday. A senior EPA official who had been briefed by members of the Trump administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of staffers in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but did not provide details about what the orders would say, said the sources, who asked not to be named.
Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been calling their senators to urge them to vote on Friday against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the E.P.A. Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in E.P.A. offices around the country say the calls are a last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting — by a president who has vowed to “get rid of” it.
Senate Republicans are poised to use their majority to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. A vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination is set for Friday, despite a call from Democrats for a delay. A judge in Oklahoma on Thursday ordered Pruitt, the state’s attorney general, to release thousands of his emails with oil and gas executives by next week. Pruitt has refused to release the emails for more than two years.
A technical director for an organization dedicated to reducing vehicle emissions says the EPA should view the Renewable Fuels Standard as a floor instead of a ceiling. Steve VanderGriend with the Urban Air Initiative tells Brownfield there’s an ample supply of ethanol, and it would cost very little to upgrade most retail pumps for higher blends. But he accuses the EPA of following outdated protocol by not testing beyond zero to ten percent ethanol.
Congressional Biofuels Caucus Co-chairs Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL), Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA), led Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to the Trump Administration about the importance of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In their letter to President Trump the lawmakers emphasized the economic benefits of the RFS saying, “In 2015 alone, the RFS is directly responsible for creating nearly 86,000 jobs ranging from farms to equipment manufacturers to ethanol production facilities.” The letter encourages the administration to create certainty in the market by continuing its commitment to the RFS.
In a letter to President Donald Trump recently, the U.S. Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy are asking for help “in urgently addressing China’s recent implementation of protectionist trade barriers that are shutting out U.S. exports of ethanol and distillers dried grains.” Specifically, the three groups are asking the incoming U.S. trade representative to put China’s recent actions near the top of the administration’s China trade agenda.
Heartland American farmers like Lentz are among globalism’s prime beneficiaries. Agriculture is North Dakota’s top industry, and it gets a significant boost from the $4 billion in farm goods, including wheat, soybeans, barley and sorghum, sent across borders every year. And they often travel much farther than Mexico: More than 90 percent of the state’s soybeans are exported, mainly to China.