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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 31, 2019

Top Stories

Progressives, moderates clash on climate plans

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

Progressive and moderate Democratic candidates for president battled yesterday over the ambition and aggressiveness of plans to take on climate change, providing contrasts between their camps. In showdowns set up by the CNN moderators during the first part of the second set of debates in the 2020 primary, candidates including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued that their ambitious platforms are more in line with the urgency of climate change than the policies that candidates such as former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney framed as more politically viable. [ read more … ]


U.S., China trade meeting ends with sharp response to Trump

By Brenda Goh, David Stanway, Yilei Sun, Engen Tham, and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, and Huizhong Wu, Reuters  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

As talks were just beginning on Tuesday, Trump said on Twitter that China appeared to be backing off on a pledge to buy U.S. farm goods, and he warned that if China stalled negotiations in the hope that he wouldn’t win re-election in the November 2020 U.S. presidential contest, the outcome will be worse for China. “The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said. [ read more … ]

Trump Goads China as Trade Talks Resume

By Ana Swanson and Jeanna Smialek, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

Mr. Trump’s anger was fueled, in part, by the fact that China has not begun buying large amounts of American farm products, which the president promised farmers would happen after a June meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr. Trump emerged from that meeting in Osaka, Japan, saying he had agreed to postpone tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese products and allow American firms to resume sales of nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom firm Huawei. In return, Mr. Trump said China would immediately start buying American agricultural goods, touting it as a big win for farmers. [ read more … ]

Crop Giants See Their Fortunes Change a Year Into the Trade War

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

This time last year, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. beat profit estimates while Bunge Ltd. posted a loss after being wrong footed on soybeans amid President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. Fast-forward to 2019: ADM’s bet that the tit-for-tat spat would end by mid-year flopped, while Bunge’s more conservative approach put the firm in a better position than its rival. [ read more … ]

Trump says he will seek U.S. trade accord with Brazil

By Alexandra Alper, Makini Brice, Marcelo Rochabrun and Marcela Ayres, Reuters  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he will pursue a U.S. trade agreement with Brazil, suggesting a friendly relationship with President Jair Bolsonaro could help lower trade barriers between the two biggest economies in the Americas. “We’re going to work on a free trade agreement with Brazil,” Trump told reporters at the White House, without giving details. Trump raised the possibility of a trade deal as U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed business leaders in Sao Paulo ahead of a Wednesday meeting with Bolsonaro in Brasilia. [ read more … ]


EPA chief defends biofuel waivers in meeting with farm senators: sources – Reuters

By Humeyra Pamuk and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

The head of the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency defended his agency’s expanded use of waivers exempting refineries from the country’s biofuel law during a closed-door meeting with farm state senators last week, arguing the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand, according to four sources with knowledge of the meeting. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s comments are a sign he may resist an overhaul of the so-called Small Refinery Exemption program, which President Donald Trump last month ordered members of his Cabinet to review based on complaints from the corn lobby. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are preparing to hold a cabinet-level meeting on the issue as soon as this week, two of the same sources said. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Corn is America’s Largest Crop in 2019

By Tom Capehart and Susan Proper, USDA  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

Despite an unusually wet spring followed by an unusually cool June, America’s corn farmers planted even more than they did last year. U.S. farmers have planted 91.7 million acres of corn in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That’s about 69 million football fields of corn and 3 percent more corn than last year, far more acres than the next largest crop, soybeans. [ read more … ]

From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’

By David Yaffe-Bellany, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 31, 2019

For years, the American agricultural giant Cargill has been on relatively good terms with environmental advocates, praised for agreeing to a landmark moratorium on buying soybeans grown on deforested land in the Amazon rain forest. In recent weeks, though, that relationship has soured over the company’s refusal to agree to a similar moratorium in another environmentally sensitive region of Brazil and, more broadly, over its failure to meet its anti-deforestation targets. This month, the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth released a report titled “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World.” [ read more … ]

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