The Trump Factor: The President’s First Year in Office

Source: By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. In the No. 5 spot is the impact of President Donald Trump on ag in his first year in office. The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency was anything but boring, even when it came to agriculture.

Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer

Source: By HENRY FOUNTAIN, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

As bitter cold continues to grip much of North America and helps spawn the fierce storm along the East Coast, the question arises: What’s the influence of climate change? Some scientists studying the connection between climate change and cold spells, which occur when cold Arctic air dips south, say that they may be related. But the importance of the relationship is not fully clear yet.

Minnesota leads region in alternative fuels growth, use

Source: By American Lung Association In Minnesota • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Minnesota again led the region in the growth and use of cleaner alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels in 2017, according to the American Lung Association in Minnesota. The U.S. DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center lists 763 public and private alternative fuel stations located in Minnesota, compared to 601 in Wisconsin, 416 in Iowa, 124 in South Dakota and 76 in North Dakota. The alternative fuels sold in the state include ethanol, biodiesel, electric vehicle charging stations, propane fueling stations and compressed natural gas.

What’s ahead in 2018: Strong ethanol, feed demand stabilize corn market

Source: By Tom C. Doran, AgriNews Publications • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Corn use for ethanol has been the highlight of the fall. We’ve been doing over 1 million barrels a day grind at ethanol plants for two months now. USDA recently raised the number to 5.525 billion bushels for ethanol. I had it at 5.515 billion about three weeks ago, and they just blew right past me. The Renewable Fuel Standard is basically the same as it was last year. The Energy Information Agency is basically projecting the same gasoline consumption as last year.

New Minnesota senator Tina Smith eyes green focus

Source: Kellie Lunney, Geof Koss and Manuel Quiñones, E&E News reporters • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Tina Smith, Minnesota’s new senator, is looking to continue her advocacy on environmental issues from Capitol Hill. “In Minnesota, I worked very hard to extend the renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2030. It’s a clean jobs opportunity for my state. We have 57,000 clean energy jobs and I think it is a way to make our economy work better, and so that’s something I’m very interested in.”

Elon Musk promises to make a Tesla pickup truck, said he is ‘dying to build’ one

Source: By Arjun Kharpal, CNBC • Posted: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

CEO of Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk gave us all a sneak peek at his Falcon Heavy rocket that is expected to take flight in January 2018. Josh King has the story (@abridgetoland). Buzz60 Tesla will make a pickup truck in the future, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday, adding that he was “dying to build it.”

China to suspend some car production over fuel consumption standards

Source: By Ben Blanchard Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

China will suspend the production of 553 passenger vehicle models that have failed to meet the government’s fuel consumption standards, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday. The suspension will take effect from Jan. 1, Xinhua said, citing the China Vehicle Technology Service Centre.

Op-Ed: Big Oil misleading Iowans again

Source: By Monte Shaw, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

About a year ago, an Iowa front group for Big Oil tried to trick former state legislators into signing letters to the editor that sounded “pro-ethanol” but actually advocated for a policy approach that was opposed by every state and national biofuels/agriculture group and would have harmed every farmer in Iowa. It seems Big Oil is back at it with a new angle.

Op-Ed: A New Years Resolution for EPA: Do Your Job!

Source: By Doug Sombke, Biofuels Digest • Posted: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

This time of year many of us wrestle with New Years Resolutions–what can we do that we did not do last year? What can we do better? How can we improve ourselves and maybe in the process make the world a better place? Well, for the US Environmental Protection Agency, I have a couple of suggestions. And it is not just something they did not do last year, but something they did not do for the last quarter of a century, and that is to do their job and enforce the law.

Fed Rate Hikes Expected to Hurt Car Sales in 2018

Source: By Jamie Butters, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

As automakers seal their first annual U.S. sales decline since 2009, expectations for more interest-rate hikes are contributing to the nearly unanimous view that car demand will drop again in 2018. Few analysts anticipate sales this year will reach 17 million vehicles, which was just achieved for a third-straight year and only the fifth time in history. The Federal Reserve forecasts three rate hikes in 2018, crimping the free-flowing credit that helped fuel a record streak of demand growth now coming to an end.