Sen. Grassley: Biofuel policy situation in hands of oil/biofuel industry

Source: By DTN's Washington Insider • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

“The industry tells us that such a cap on RINs would be just catastrophic to ethanol, and I can’t go beyond that,” Grassley said. “There’s a pretty unanimous feeling among ethanol industry that that would be just a no-go. Sen. Ernst and I expressed that to Cruz.” Caught in the middle of the situation is the nomination of Bill Northey of Iowa to be a key USDA undersecretary.

Dinneen: Oil, Ethanol Meetings Not Scheduled Yet, Likely Not Constructive

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progessive Farmer • Posted: Friday, January 12th, 2018

President Donald Trump’s administration and some members of Congress want oil and ethanol interests to just get along and work out their differences on the Renewable Fuel Standard. But the leader of the nation’s largest ethanol industry interest group told DTN in an exclusive interview on Thursday that, so far, no such meetings between the two sides have been scheduled and may not be scheduled.

Rep. Welch continues campaign to remove ethanol from gas

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., continues to push for the removal of ethanol from gasoline. The Times Argus reports the Democrat embarked on a 30-mile snowmobile trip around Barre and Berlin with the Vermont association of Snow Travelers on Monday to demonstrate the impacts of ethanol-infused gasoline. Welch says ethanol damages small engines on vehicles like snow machines.

Farm bill passage planned by spring

Source: Marc Heller, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway said yesterday his panel aims to pass a farm bill in the first three months of this year. With that timeline, the Texas Republican said, legislation should be ready for release in the committee in the coming weeks.

New York City sues Shell, ExxonMobil, and other oil majors over climate change

Source: By Chris Mooney and Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damages to the city from climate change. The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry of which they are part have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them.

More cold weather poses challenges to U.S. corn ethanol makers

Source: By Michael Hirtzer, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Another cold snap in the United States is set to eat into profits for U.S. ethanol makers after output of the corn-based biofuel fell sharply for a second straight week. Higher natural gas prices amid some of the coldest temperatures in the Midwest in years have raised costs for ethanol makers who use it to operate their plants. Slower turnaround on rail tanker cars, due in part to the weather, also limited where producers could load out their fuel for shipment to domestic gasoline-blending terminals and export ports.

Inslee unveils carbon tax, hoping it passes in 59 days

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Washington would be America’s first state to adopt a carbon tax if Inslee’s proposal is approved. The governor, an outspoken climate hawk, enters his sixth year in office with new momentum to curb emissions. Democrats took control of the state Senate last year and now control both chambers in Olympia. Several of the state’s leading businesses have said they are supportive of efforts to price carbon.

Cruz hoping for win-win on RFS

Source: By Kelsey Tamborrino and Anthony Adragna, Politico • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday that while ethanol and refining industry groups will be in on future meetings on the Renewable Fuel Standard, “It will ultimately be the senators and the administration who resolve this issue, as President Trump asked us to do.

U.S. grain companies fear harm from new tax law

Source: By P.J. Huffstutter, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

The new U.S. tax law is poised to drive more control over the nation’s grain supply to farmer-owned cooperatives, provoking concern among ethanol producers and privately run grain handlers that they could be squeezed out of the competition to buy crops. Until now, the cooperatives, private companies and publicly traded firms had a more even opportunity to handle the grain supply used in everything from loaves of bread in supermarkets to livestock feed.

Deb Fischer joining Senate Agriculture Committee

Source: By Joe Morton, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Republican Sen. Deb Fischer announced Tuesday that she had joined the panel and touted her personal background in the field. Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy,” Fischer said during a conference call with reporters. “And it’s a big part of my own life.”