EIA: US Ethanol Stocks, Production Down

Source: By DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a weekly report Wednesday, Dec. 13, showing decreases for U.S. ethanol inventories and plant production while blending demand increased in during the week-ended Dec. 8.

New EPA air boss outlines next steps for doomed climate rule

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The Trump administration will “very soon” ask for public comment on how it could replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, U.S. EPA’s new air office chief said yesterday. In one of his first public appearances since taking the air job, Bill Wehrum told reporters that he hopes Administrator Scott Pruitt will sign a so-called advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on a replacement for the Obama-era climate regulation within a “few days.”

Al Franken’s replacement adds another big voice for corn ethanol in the Senate

Source: By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s replacement will add another big voice of support for corn ethanol in Congress as a group of Republicans looks to drastically curtail the nation’s biofuel mandate. Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, also a Democrat, to replace Franken after he resigned last week over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sources say Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to be named U.S. Senator to replace Al Franken on Wednesday

Source: By J. Patrick Coolican, Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Sen. Al Franken as Minnesota’s next U.S. senator, according to two high-level Democratic sources with knowledge of the decision. Dayton will name Smith as his choice at a Wednesday morning news conference, and she plans to run for the seat in a 2018 special election, the sources said.

No contact yet between Grassley and Cruz

Source: By Ken Anderson, Brownfield • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Iowa Senato Chuck Grassley says he has not talked to Texas Senator Ted Cruz since Cruz’s recent meeting with President Trump. Cruz and other oil-state senators met with Trump last week to express their concerns about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Trump reportedly encouraged those senators to work out a compromise with their Midwestern counterparts.

U.S. Midwest lawmakers will consider biofuel changes to help refiners

Source: By Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

U.S. lawmakers from states that produce corn for ethanol plants said on Wednesday they would consider proposals from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to help the oil refining industry cope with the nation’s biofuels regulation, but would never agree on anything that diminishes the program. The price of U.S. renewable fuel credits sunk to their lowest levels in two months amid ongoing efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to mediate talks between the rival oil and corn industries over the Renewable Fuels Program.

Hill, White House staffers explore solutions to biofuel feud

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Congressional staff for biofuel supporters and critics met yesterday with White House staff to discuss possible compromises on renewable policy, as industry groups dug in to opposing views. The Trump administration is exploring as many as 10 ideas that could ease the cost of renewable fuel credits to fuel refiners, a refining industry source said. But two ideas that might satisfy those companies — capping the price of credits or backing off on renewable fuel standard enforcement by U.S. EPA — continue to fall flat with ethanol advocates.

Brazil Senate passes bill to boost ethanol, biodiesel use

Source: By Marcelo Teixeira, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Brazilian senators passed on Tuesday a bill proposing sharp increases in the use of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel in the country in coming years, as a way to help cut carbon emissions. The bill would create a program called RenovaBio, mandating fuel distributors gradually increase the amount of biofuels they trade every year.

EPA to move quickly on 2015 ozone designations — Wehrum

Source: Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

U.S. EPA is “working actively” to finish past-due attainment designations for its 2015 ground-level ozone standard and will soon be giving states the required four-month notice when the agency’s decisions differ from their recommendations, air chief Bill Wehrum told an agency advisory panel this afternoon. EPA officials then intend to complete the designation process for the 70-parts-per-billion standard as quickly as possible, Wehrum said at a meeting of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. Asked in a brief interview afterward whether he expected the process to conclude by this spring, he replied, “That’s fair.”

Northey calls Pruitt a friend of renewable fuels

Source: By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Iowa Ag Secretary and USDA nominee Bill Northey says EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is a friend of renewable fuels. The two spent time together in central Iowa last week as Pruitt discussed the RFS and environmental issues with invited guests on a farm near Nevada.