Climate Scientists Warn of Increasing Food Security Risks in New UN Report

Source: By Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in a report released Monday, “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.” The report calls for swift actions to avoid irreversible damage, especially in more vulnerable parts of the world. Food security is a major component of the new report. The report includes 33 references to food security or food production facing greater climate risks going forward. Beyond actual temperature changes and extreme weather, the scientists also note farmers globally will also come under increasing pressure for land as well.

Ethanol advocates warn of lower Iowa corn prices without pipelines

Source: By Jarred Strong, Iowa Capital Dispatch • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Income for Iowa farmers might decline $1.1 billion per year if the state’s ethanol plants are unable to capture and sequester their carbon dioxide with the help of proposed pipelines to transport it, according to a study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. The study — by Decision Innovation Solutions of Urbandale — predicts that three-quarters of ethanol production in Iowa would leave the state without the pipelines and that farmers could see a reduction in the prices they get for their corn of up to 75 cents per bushel.

Nebraska bill aims to boost availability of E15

Source: By Erin Voegele, ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Legislation recently introduced in the Nebraska Legislature aims to boost the availability of E15 fuel by introducing new requirements for fuel retailers and creating a grant program to support necessary upgrades at fuel retail locations. The bill, titled the Adopt the E15 Access Standard Act, or LB 562, was introduced on Jan. 17 and addressed during a Feb. 7 legislative hearing.

Minnesota ethanol industry contributes $2.7B to state’s economy

Source: By Minnesota Biofuels Association • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $2.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, according to a new study by the University of Minnesota Extension. 
In 2022, the industry produced 1.34 billion gallons of ethanol, up from 1.27 billion gallons in 2021. This resulted in $8 billion in economic activity through sales and supported 25,820 jobs in Minnesota, the study said. The study said the ethanol industry also contributed $1.9 billion in income for Minnesota residents and paid $183.8 million in state and local taxes in 2022.

Ethanol Groups Call on EPA to Allow E15 Sales to Continue This Summer

Source: By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

The nation’s three largest ethanol-interest groups told EPA on Tuesday the agency needs to approve the petitions of eight Midwest governors to sell E15 in their states year-round permanently and issue a temporary waiver to allow E15 to be sold this upcoming driving season. Comments were submitted to EPA as part of a public hearing on the agency’s E15 proposal. That proposal has come under fire by industry groups because the agency – which was already many months late in issuing a proposal – have proposed delaying its effective date to 2024.

EV charger makers brace for slowdown as new Made In America rules kick in

Source: By Abhirup Roy and Hyunjoo Jin, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Manufacturers and operators of electric vehicle chargers in the United States are bracing for a slowdown in production and deployment as they scramble to comply with “Made in America” terms of a $7.5 billion federal program meant to accelerate the industry. Long-awaited rules laid out by the White House last month are part of President Joe Biden’s effort to build an electric-friendly highway system by 2030, tackling climate change and creating local jobs.

‘Climate homicide’: Could Big Oil be sued for disaster deaths?

Source: By Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2023

Can petroleum producers be held criminally responsible for climate-related deaths that occurred after companies allegedly deceived the public about the dangers of burning fossil fuels? A new academic paper says they can, and authors of the research say the novel legal theory — known as “climate homicide” — is already stirring interest from prosecutors. “We have some indication they’re at least listening and curious,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s climate program and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. “To someone who knows the criminal law, there’s a moment of ‘What!?’ and then, ‘It’s OK. It’s not crazy.’“

Escalating Demand for Soybean Oil Hits Possible Slowdown

Source: By Bob Henderson, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2023

Farmers and refiners are worried that a nascent boom in the market for soybean oil is being stalled by a challenge from an unexpected source: the Environmental Protection Agency.  Prices for soybean oil, a byproduct left over after crushing the beans for animal feed, soared to records last year owing to growing government incentives to make it into diesel fuel. Then, in December, the EPA proposed to mandate less use of biomass-based diesel through 2025 than many had expected, pruning the value of credits the agency issues to makers of biofuels. Soybean oil futures dropped more than 15% in the week after the announcement. 

RFA Provides Comments on California LCFS

Source: By Cindy Zimmerman, AgWired • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2023

The Renewable Fuels Association submitted comments last week to the California Air Resources Board that identified several areas in CARB’s proposal and underlying analysis that need improvement. The top area of improvement cited by RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman is immediate approval of E15 for use in California. “Migrating all E10 to E15 in California today would result in approximately 2 million metric tons annually of additional GHG reductions,” says Richman.

Biden will let California lead on electric trucks, despite industry protest

Source: By Anna Phillips, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2023

The Biden administration will approve new California rules to cut tailpipe pollution and phase out sales of diesel-burning trucks, according to three people briefed on the plans, a move that could jump-start the nation’s transition to electric-powered trucks and help communities harmed by diesel pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency intends to grant California “waivers” to enforce environmental rules that are significantly tougher than federal requirements and that state regulators have already approved, said these individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet public.