Exclusive: Senator Cruz Wants to Cap Renewable Fuel Credits at 10 Cents-Document

Source: By Jarrett Renshaw and Richard Valdmanis, Reuters • Posted: Monday, December 18th, 2017

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz wants to place a cap of 10 cents each on renewable fuel credits – a fraction of their current value – to help U.S. refiners cope with the nation’s biofuels policy, according to a document viewed by Reuters on Thursday. The proposal marks the latest step in talks being mediated by the White House between oil industry backers and rivals in the ethanol industry over the Renewable Fuels Standard. Refiners claim complying with the law, known a the RFS, costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year and could put them out of business.

Biofuel Groups and Others Reject Sen. Cruz’s Idea of a 10-Cent RIN Price Lid

Source: By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Monday, December 18th, 2017

Leaders in the biofuels industry wrote President Donald Trump on Friday after learning Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had floated a proposal to the White House that would essentially cap prices for renewable identification number (RIN) credits at 10 cents apiece. The proposal from the Texas senator, negotiating on behalf of oil refiners, spurred major players in both biofuels and commodity crops industries to send a letter Friday to President Donald Trump detailing why the RIN market exists, how it is operated by EPA, and some of the problems EPA has in providing transparency on RIN trading.

This Electric Truck Will Probably Beat Tesla’s to Market

Source: By Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

On the evening of Nov. 16, Elon Musk unveiled the latest prop in his Tony Stark cosplay. Tesla Inc.’s all-electric semi rig met all the classic Musk product launch criteria: It looked stunning, had unprecedented performance numbers, included features straight out of science fiction, and would arrive at some unknown date at a too-good-to-be-true price from a still-to-be-built assembly line.

Tommy Thompson, conservative group launch effort to promote renewable energy

Source: By Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

With former Gov. Tommy Thompson at its head, a group of conservatives is launching an organization in Wisconsin to promote new sources of electricity and new technologies.  The Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum is tied in with a national network and an influential Madison lobbying firm, the Capitol Group. 

State faces ‘giant’ questions about slashing emissions

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

California’s climate regulators are set to vote on a plan to reach the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas goals through 2030, but heavy political lifting still remains to fill in the details. The state’s “scoping plan,” which is updated every five years, envisions continued progress on California’s targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative fuels and vehicles, plus the continuation of the state’s greenhouse gas market. Carbon trading is seen as the backstop to ensure that the state actually meets its goal of reaching 40 percent below 1990 emissions by 2030.

Another big week for ethanol production

Source: By Brownfield • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

U.S. ethanol production backed off a little last week, but remains near historic highs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production averaged 1.089 million barrels per day, down 19,000 from the previous week’s record high of 1.108 million and the second largest weekly average on record. Production has averaged more than a million barrels a day every week since late September, supported by demand expectations and readily available corn, despite some uncertainties about Trump administration policies towards renewable fuels.

Talks on future of ethanol mandate end with an ultimatum

Source: By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

The second round of White House-brokered talks on the future of the nation’s renewable fuel program ended Wednesday with a warning from the corn ethanol camp who said no solution can be reached if it means undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard. The meeting took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House between the pro-ethanol team led by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley’s staff and the pro-oil team led by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s staff.

Ethanol-State Senators Wait for Proposal from Cruz, Who Maintains Hold on USDA Nominee

Source: By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

Sen. Ted Cruz has now gotten multiple meetings at the White House over the Renewable Fuels Standard but the Texas Republican still maintains his hold on Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey’s undersecretary nomination at USDA. And, following a meeting Wednesday with staff from several senators at the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building, it seems Cruz doesn’t know what exactly he wants changed with the Renewable Fuel Standard. “He just keeps moving the goalpost and moving the goalpost,” said a frustrated Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, on Thursday.

Grassley aide heads to biofuels group

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

A longtime aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is headed to the National Biodiesel Board. Kurt Kovarik, who has held various positions in Grassley’s office since 1997, will serve as the group’s vice president of federal affairs and lead the group’s Washington, D.C., office. He begins the week of Jan. 8.

Shared concerns over biofuels credit prices may spur RFS deal

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said yesterday that shared concerns in Congress about manipulation of renewable fuel credit markets might help pave the way to a deal on adjustments to the renewable fuel standard.