News

Ethanol growth expected

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

The United States and Brazil, the two leading ethanol producers, see potential for a large increase in global use of the biofuel as a way to cut carbon emissions while the world transitions to all-electric cars, according to industry representatives. “There is a lot of hope (to cut emissions) related to electric vehicles, but the current fleet will still be around for a long time,” said Brian Healy, director for ethanol market development at the U.S. Grains Council, adding that biofuel blending in combustion engine cars is the quickest way to improve air quality.

Amber wave Demand for American grain is surging

Source: By The Economist • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

The harvest rush in America’s heartland is subsiding. More than 90% of the country’s corn and soyabeans had been picked by November 8th. Crops moved from cart to trailer to grain elevator. Now a different kind of frenzy is taking hold.Exports of American corn are poised to reach a record of 67.3m tonnes for the marketing year that began in September, according to forecasts by the United States Departure of Agriculture (USDA) published on November 10th. Demand for corn and soyabeans may push American stocks to their lowest levels in seven years. By the time markets closed after the USDA’s report, the most actively traded corn and soyabean futures contracts had jumped to $4.23 and $11.46 a bushel, respectively, with corn up by more than a third since early August and soyabeans at their highest price in over four years. They may rise higher still.

Meet Biden’s energy team

Source: By E&E News staff • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s review teams at the Department of Energy and other agencies could help him carry out his pledge to reach 100% clean electricity and cut emissions, and include appointees with extensive government experience and a past in the Obama administration. “They’re going to have to hit the ground running,” Brandon Hurlbut, a former chief of staff to Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said of Biden’s agency picks. “Biden is inheriting many crises, and there’s not going to be time for a learning curve.”

Biden’s Win Means Help for Automakers Selling Electric Vehicles

Source: By David Welch and James Ellis, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Although President Obama threw a lifeline to U.S. automakers after the financial crisis, many in the industry were unhappy that his administration also was responsible for fuel economy rules that pushed carmakers to their limits. But the inauguration of former Vice President Joe Biden, who worked hand in hand with Obama to set the tough regulations, will be a welcome event for the industry. That’s because Biden will bring something that manufacturers from Volkswagen to General Motors to Tesla badly need: help selling electric vehicles.

Permanent oil refinery closures accelerate as pandemic bites – IEA

Source: By Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Permanent refining capacity closures expected for 2020-2021 have risen to about 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers demand for oil products, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. About a dozen refinery closures have been announced in the past few months, the IEA said, with the bulk of capacity closures – over 1 million bpd – happening in the United States.

California official sees state auto emissions deal as ‘template’ for Bid

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020

California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, who sources say could be the next federal environment chief, said on Thursday her state’s agreement with major automakers for fuel efficiency requirements could serve as a “good template” for federal standards through 2025. The Trump administration in March finalized a rollback of U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to require 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026, well below the 5% yearly boosts in Obama administration rules it discarded.

Biden Teams Include Obama Appointees

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Biden’s USDA team is led by Robert Bonnie, the current farm and forest initiative director at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s energy project, according to Biden’s transition website. Another notable addition to the USDA team is Jonathan Coppess, director of the Gardner Agriculture Policy Program, director of the Bock Ag Law Policy Program and assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Grassley: Senate May Move COVID Relief

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 12th, 2020

There is still a chance Congress could approve new COVID-19 economic relief before the end of the year, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said during a teleconference with agriculture journalists on Thursday. Prior to the Nov. 3 election, negotiations between the Trump administration and congressional leaders, primarily House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, were at a standstill. Grassley said he thinks the latest stimulus package being discussed will include $20 billion in aid for agriculture, which Senate Republicans had proposed during negotiations in July.

How One Firm Drove Influence Campaigns Nationwide for Big Oil

Source: By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, November 12th, 2020

In early 2017, the Texans for Natural Gas website went live to urge voters to “thank a roughneck” and support fracking. Around the same time, the Arctic Energy Center ramped up its advocacy for drilling in Alaskan waters and in a vast Arctic wildlife refuge. The next year, the Main Street Investors Coalition warned that climate activism doesn’t help mom-and-pop investors in the stock market.

Covid Restaurant Shutdowns Threaten Oil Refiners’ Biofuel Dreams

Source: By Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Every day, Miko Del Rosario oversees nine trucks that crisscross Southern California, weaving through alleys behind shopping malls, restaurants and a tortilla chip factory to pick up cooking oil drained from deep fryers. The grease is filtered at his Anaheim plant to remove leftover bits of food, before it’s sold to refiners who turn it into biodiesel— a lucrative business in a state which offers generous subsidies for using scrap oils to generate fuel. But with coronavirus restrictions hurting eateries across California, Del Rosario’s daily intake has fallen 40% from before the pandemic to about 15,000 gallons a day even as orders keep coming in.