New Minnesota Senator Tina Smith Gets Seat on Energy Panel

Source: By Dean Scott and Stephen Joyce, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018

“Minnesota is a national leader when it comes to renewable energy, and during my time as lieutenant governor, that’s something I was proud to champion when I traveled across the state,” the senator said in Jan. 9 statement to Bloomberg Environment. She vowed “to keep fighting for the type of energy policies that create jobs, improve our energy independence, and address the growing threat of climate change.”

Japan opens comment period on proposal to allow US corn ethanol

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has opened a public comment period on proposed changes to its ethanol policy that would allow for the import of U.S. corn ethanol for use in the production of bio-ETBE. A document filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network specifies that the comments can be submitted in Japanese on government’s website.

Obama aide joins Nature Conservancy

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Heather Zichal, a former top White House aide to President Obama, has joined the Nature Conservancy as managing director of corporate engagement. Zichal was a senior Obama White House aide on energy and environmental issues, helping develop several major regulations as well as the administration’s trademark Climate Action Plan. She left in 2013.

Grassley Says Infrastructure May Take Center Stage in 2018

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday the U.S. Senate needs to end a hold on the nomination of Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey to a key USDA post and also pushed ethanol and oil interests to work out their differences with the Renewable Fuel Standard. Grassley told reporters he hasn’t talked with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, about the continued hold up of Northey’s nomination to USDA undersecretary.

Gov. Reynolds’ First Condition Of The State Address Puts Spotlight On Rural Iowa

Source: By CBC Online • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

She says that she has been proud to see the state’s leaders restore liberties, protect taxpayers and fight for farmers on the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). She is now ready to take protection of the state’s most vitally important resource to the next level and hopes she will be signing her first piece of legislation as one that improves water quality.

U.S. regulators meet with California on fate of vehicle fuel rules

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Senior U.S. government officials held talks in recent weeks with California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) to discuss the goal of maintaining one set of national requirements for automakers, a move that will determine the fate of vehicle emissions rules. The Dec. 15 meeting held in California included William Wehrum, head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deputy chief Heidi King, and Mike Catanzaro, a senior White House aide on environment and energy issues, a spokesman for CARB confirmed on Monday.

Trump loves farmers but keeps them guessing on NAFTA strategy

Source: By HELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH and MEGAN CASSELLA, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

 President Donald Trump on Monday delivered a campaign-style speech to thousands of farmers that largely dodged one of the most pressing concerns in agriculture — whether Trump intends to blow up the North American Free Trade Agreement. Farm leaders have lobbied the administration and pleaded with the president to tread carefully in the ongoing renegotiation of the free-trade agreement with Canada and Mexico because the agricultural sector has arguably more to lose than any other segment of the economy if trade relations sour in North America.

Exclusive: Trump’s EPA Aims to Replace Obama-Era Climate, Water Regulations in 2018

Source: By Valerie Volcovici and David Shepardson, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Pruitt said he hoped for legislative reform of the U.S. biofuels policy this year, calling it “substantially needed and important” because of the costs the regulation imposes on oil refiners.
The Renewable Fuel Standard, ushered in by former President George W. Bush as a way to help U.S. farmers, requires refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply every year. Pruitt added that EPA also continuing its review of automobile fuel efficiency rules, and would be headed to California soon for more meetings with the California Air Resources Board to discuss them.

Global biofuels market to exceed $218.7B by 2022

Source: By Helena Tavares Kennedy, Biofuels Digest • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

A report predicts the global biofuel market will grow at a CAGR of 4.5%between 2017 and 2022, reaching $218.7 billion by 2022. Asia Pacific biofuels market dominated the overall demand in 2016 and accounted for a significant share in the market. Production in the region increased significantly in recent years driven by the increase in the cumulative land area of biofuels plantation, rising biofuels yield, and high investment in R&D related activities.

Brazil ethanol imports recover in December; record high set in 2017: SECEX

Source: By Beatriz Pupo, Platts • Posted: Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Brazilian ethanol imports recovered in December with 84.6 million liters entering the country, up 68% from November, Secretariat of Foreign Trade (SECEX) data showed Friday. Most of the volume (59.5 million liters) entered Brazil through the port of Sao Luis in the Northeast. The vast majority of ethanol imports into Brazil originated in the US and are to be blended into gasoline.