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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 23, 2020

Top Story

Republicans, Deeply Divided on Virus Aid, Near Agreement on Opening Offer

By Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos and Jim Tankersley, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

After three marathon days of talks, Senate Republican leaders and White House officials expressed confidence on Wednesday evening that they had reached an agreement in principle on a proposal that would dole out more than $100 billion to schools, send additional checks directly to Americans and provide $16 billion for states to conduct testing and contact tracing. But some of the biggest issues, including what to do with enhanced unemployment insurance and Mr. Trump’s payroll tax cut idea, were not finalized. [ read more … ]

Payroll tax cut decision weighs on Senate GOP as they try to complete $1 trillion coronavirus plan

By Erica Werner, Jeff Stein, Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade, Washington Post  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

Senate Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and there’s little chance the legislation they are currently crafting would be able to secure the 60 votes needed to proceed to a final vote. But emerging from the discussions with a formal plan would give them a starting point to begin negotiations with House Democrats, who passed a $3 trillion tax and spending plan in May aimed at addressing the coronavirus’s impact. Mnuchin and other administration officials insist they must act by the end of next week because enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire for millions of Americans at the end of July. McConnell has dismissed that timeline as unrealistic but is moving to unveil his bill as soon as possible in order to speed negotiations.
[ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Ernst outlines goals for phase four coronavirus relief

By Caleb McCullough, The Daily Iowan  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

In a press call with reporters on Tuesday, Ernst detailed her goals for where federal funding should go in that bill and introduced her own bill to provide tax relief for essential workers.
Ernst’s bill, called the FRNT LINE Act, would suspend federal income taxes for essential workers up to an income capped at the highest level of pay for an enlisted person in the U.S. military. It also suspends federal payroll taxes for essential workers who earn up to $50,000 a year. Workers covered under the bill include health-care workers, agriculture workers, truck drivers, factory workers, teachers, and restaurant and grocery store employees. [ read more … ]

Ethanol Industry Asks Senate Leaders to Approve COVID-19 Aid

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

On a call with reporters last week, Grassley said one of his key priorities in a new aid package is to subsidize ethanol feedstock purchases. The plan would reimburse biofuel producers for their feedstock purchases from Jan. 1, 2020, to March 31 through the Commodity Credit Corp. The Senate plan differs from the “Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program” included in the House HEROES Act, which would provide a 45-cent per-gallon payment for biofuel producers for qualified fuel produced from Jan. 1, 2020, through May 1. Ethanol plants not producing during that time frame could still receive a 22.5-cent credit based on fuel volumes they produced during that time period in 2019 as well. [ read more … ]


Massive nationwide recall in Canada on hand sanitizer with ethanol

By Dawson Creek Mirror News  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

Health Canada also maintains a list of hand sanitizers that contain technical-grade ethanol and are being recalled from the market because they are not compliant with federal regulations and may pose a risk to health. Health Canada says certain hand sanitizers made with ethanol or denaturants are not acceptable ingredients for use in hand sanitizers – and has recalled a long list of products. [ read more … ]

Revisiting corn use for ethanol

By Todd Hubbs, Farmdocdaily  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

Stronger export numbers and lower acreage boosted corn prices since the end of June. Concerns about demand weakness in ethanol production emerged recently. A recovery in economic activity helped ethanol plants ramp up production as gasoline demand increased. However, a resurgence in virus incidences threatens ethanol production over the short run and injects uncertainty into long-run prospects, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs. [ read more … ]

Brent climbs to 4-month high on signs of economic recovery

By Andres Guerra Luz, Grant Smith, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

Oil climbed to the highest level since early March in London as indications of an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic helped drive a rally in commodities. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped more than 2% on Tuesday. European Union leaders agreed on an unprecedented stimulus package to pull their economies out of the worst recession in memory. At the same time, European regulators are eyeing a potential approval of the first Covid-19 vaccine this year, further adding to the positive sentiment. [ read more … ]

Nebraska Corn Board grant supports higher ethanol blends

By Nebraska Corn Board  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

Cooperative Producers Inc. in Hildreth, Nebraska, is one of the latest fueling stations to offer higher blends of ethanol. At their location at 201 Nelson Street, motorists have the option to fill with E15 (a 15 percent ethanol blend), E30 (a 30 percent ethanol blend) or E85 (an 85 percent ethanol blend). E15 is approved by the U.S. EPA to be used in all vehicles 2001 and newer, while the higher blends can only be used in flex fuel vehicles. The blender pump was funded and installed in part by a grant project sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Carbon Capture Webinar

By Nebraska Ethanol Board  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

The Battelle Memorial Institute and the Great Plains Institute invite you to attend the third webinar of this series, on August 3, 2020, at 3:00 PM CDT, focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage opportunities in Nebraska [ read more … ]


Don’t bail out ethanol

By Joseph Glauber, The Hill  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

In recent weeks, there have been calls from ethanol producers to extend the authorities used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to provide a bailout to their industry to compensate for losses due to the pandemic. Their call has been echoed by members of Congress from key corn producing states. While the industry has suffered losses, a bailout is a bad idea. Losses are far less than claimed and extending payments under the CCC would set an even worse precedent. [ read more … ]


In Electric Car Market, It’s Tesla and a Jumbled Field of Also-Rans

By Neal E. Boudette, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 22, 2020

Although it has become the world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla still has to figure out how to become consistently profitable, reduce quality problems in its luxury cars and more quickly turn alluring prototypes into mass-produced vehicles. One area where it hasn’t had much to fret about: competition. Over the last year or so, several automakers, including Audi, Jaguar and Porsche, have added heralded new models intended to cut into Tesla’s electric dominance. But they have barely made a dent, at least in the United States. Sales of the Jaguar I-Pace, an electric sport utility vehicle similar to the Tesla Model Y, have totaled just over 1,000 this year. Porsche has reported similar sales for its electric sedan, the Taycan. [ read more … ]


Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.