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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 21, 2019

Top Stories


Trump Seeks to Allay Farm-State Uproar in Oval Office Meeting

By Jennifer Jacobs, Jennifer A Dlouhy, and Mario Parker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

The meeting Monday with Trump was ostensibly to discuss trade with China but quickly turned into a fuels discussion because the U.S. ambassador to China, former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, had just spent a few days in the state and was concerned about the harm he believed the waivers will cause rural America. The meeting, described as lively and spanning roughly two hours, included Branstad, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Stephen Censky, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and National Security Council official Matthew Pottinger. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler joined by phone. [ read more … ]

Trump White House seeks to assuage farmer unrest over biofuel policy: sources – Reuters

By Jarrett Renshaw and Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

President Donald Trump’s administration has been scrambling to stem the tide of rising anger in Farm Belt states after its decision this month to allow numerous oil refiners to mix less ethanol into their gasoline, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Trump held a two-hour meeting on Monday with members of his Cabinet after hearing blowback from farmers after the decision to grant exemptions from the nation’s biofuel laws to 31 refineries, two sources familiar with the discussions said. Trump’s re-election campaign team also took notice of Democratic presidential candidates seizing on the unrest, the sources said. Iowa, the nation’s largest producer of corn and ethanol, is a swing state won by Democrat Barack Obama in consecutive elections before Trump rode to victory in 2016 in part by promising to support ethanol.
[ read more … ]

Trump EPA says ‘zero evidence’ of biofuel waivers hurting ethanol producers

By Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday dismissed the biofuel industry’s argument that waivers granted to small oil refineries were destroying demand and that were damaging for the ethanol producers. “There is zero evidence that EPA’s congressionally mandated small refinery exemption program…has had any negative impact on domestic corn ethanol producers,” a spokesman for the EPA said in emailed comments. [ read more … ]

SRE Impact

POET Cuts Production After RFS Waivers

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

One of the nation’s largest ethanol companies announced on Tuesday it will idle a 92-million-gallon plant in Cloverdale, Indiana, following EPA’s decision to grant 31 new small-refinery waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018. POET, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, stated it has started the process of idling the Indiana plant “due to recent decisions by the administration” regarding the waivers. The company said in a news release that the move means the plant will “cease processing of over 30 million bushels of corn annually and hundreds of local jobs will be impacted.” [ read more … ]

Marquis Energy to cut ethanol production rates at Wisconsin plant: CEO

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

Marquis Energy will cut ethanol production rates at its 100 million gallons-per-year plant in Necedah, Wisconsin, Chief Executive Officer Mark Marquis told Reuters on Tuesday, the latest company to announce output cuts amid weaker margins. The company will continue to run its 400 million gallons-per-year Hennepin, Illinois, plant at full production, he added. [ read more … ]

U.S. biofuel credit prices jump on news of Trump meeting on farmer anger: traders – Reuters

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

U.S. renewable fuel credits for 2019 traded higher on Tuesday, market participants said, following news that President Donald Trump ordered cabinet members on Monday to assuage farmers’ concerns over his administration’s biofuel policy. Trump held a meeting at the White House, two sources familiar with the discussions said, after farmers grew angry with the administration’s decision earlier this month to grant exemptions from the nation’s biofuel laws to 31 refineries. [ read more … ]

Farmers stung by EPA’s waivers

By Noah Fish, Rochester Post Bulletin  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

The hit to ethanol demand will affect famers growing corn in the Midwest, who sell most of their corn to ethanol plants. This comes at a time when farmers are also dealing with the loss of export markets due to ongoing trade disputes. “Actions by the EPA are now also costing corn farmers ethanol markets at home,” said Brian Thalmann, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “The billions of biofuel gallons lost through the issuing of waivers to oil refineries only benefit big oil companies while lowering the value of our nation’s corn crop.” [ read more … ]

Ethanol Nose Dives With Archer Daniels Midland Shares

By Andrew Hecht, Motley Fool  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

The price of ethanol has declined since hitting a high at $1.645 per gallon wholesale in mid-June. As of Monday, August 19, the price of nearby September futures was trading at $1.286 after trading to a low at $1.252 per gallon on August 14 and 15. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray

By Coral Davenport and Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

The White House, blindsided by a pact between California and four automakers to oppose President Trump’s auto emissions rollbacks, has mounted an effort to prevent any more companies from joining the other side. Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors were all summoned by a senior Trump adviser to a White House meeting last month where he pressed them to stand by the president’s own initiative, according to four people familiar with the talks. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Dems fear another rural wipeout will reelect Trump

By ELENA SCHNEIDER and CATHERINE BOUDREAU, Politico  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

As Democratic presidential candidates descended on the Iowa State Fair, a plane buzzed overhead, an ominous warning fluttering behind it on a banner: “Focus on Rural America.” Democrats hoping to win the White House in 2020 recognize how critical that advice is after 2016, when Hillary Clinton turned in strong performances in many cities and suburbs but lost rural voters 2-to-1, falling short to President Donald Trump by slim margins in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats clawed back some gains in rural counties in the 2018 midterm elections, and they want to build on that momentum in 2020.
[ read more … ]

EPA: 1.8 billion RINS generated in July

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 21, 2019

The U.S. EPA has released renewable identification number (RIN) generation data for July, reporting that nearly 1.8 billion RINs were generated during the month, including 38.92 million cellulosic RINs. Nearly 38.92 million D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs were generated in July, including 29.65 million generated for compressed renewable natural gas (RNG) by domestic producers, 5.09 million generated for liquefied RNG by domestic producers, 2.5 million generated for liquefied RNG by importers, 1.16 million generated for cellulosic ethanol by domestic producers, and 517,419 generated for compressed RNG by importers. [ read more … ]

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