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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 23, 2019

Top Story

What House Meeting

Facing farmer anger, Trump scrambles Cabinet to brainstorm on biofuel policy: sources – Reuters

By Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw in New York, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

One proposal that was discussed and was advocated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was rescinding seven or eight of the 31 waivers the administration has granted to refineries, according to a memo of five proposals obtained by Reuters. Sources said government agencies have agreed on four of the proposals, but Trump was yet to make a final decision. The remaining proposals agreed upon are for the EPA taking steps to make infrastructure for E15, a higher ethanol blend of gasoline, more accessible; and the USDA and EPA working together to amend the Reset rule, which will be dictating new blending mandates for a slew of biofuels for the next several years and beyond. The final one is for the EPA to take action to encourage flex-fuel vehicles that can use E85, a higher ethanol blend. [ read more … ]

White House Weighs Moves to Blunt Farm-State Fallout on Biofuel

By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Mario Parker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

Top Trump administration officials met Thursday to consider options for quelling a backlash in politically important farm states over recent biofuel policy moves, including revoking waivers given to some oil refineries from requirements they use renewable fuel such as corn-based ethanol. The Agriculture Department pushed that idea in the meeting and in a memo explicitly outlining options for President Donald Trump amid intense opposition from the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the program that mandates biofuel. Thursday’s meeting follows a flurry of White House conversations this week on the issue, according to people familiar with the deliberations who asked not to be named before any formal announcement. [ read more … ]


Trump Administration May Consider Reallocating Biofuels Gallons Lost to Small-Refinery Waivers

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

At what may be a critical juncture for the biodiesel industry in the United States, industry officials are scrambling to get President Donald Trump to listen to them about the state of the industry. Much of the attention surrounding the Trump EPA’s issuance of small-refinery waivers has centered on the corn-ethanol industry. However, U.S. biodiesel producers continue to suffer the consequences of lost demand for biofuels gallons waived, now totaling 4.03 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. [ read more … ]

Biodiesel, Soybean Producers Ask Trump for Meeting on Waivers

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

The National Biodiesel Board and the American Soybean Association have asked for a meeting with President Donald Trump on small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard, in a letter to the president on Wednesday. The EPA recently granted 31 small-refinery waivers to the RFS, bringing the total to 85 since 2016 for a volume of 4.03 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons not blended in petroleum. The biodiesel industry has seen several hundred million gallons waived. [ read more … ]

EPA mulling ethanol reallocation, sources say

BY ALEX GUILLÉN, Politico  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

The Trump administration is considering reallocating the volumes of ethanol that were reduced when it allowed dozens of refineries to waive their Renewable Fuel Standard requirements to blend the biofuel with gasoline, four industry sources with knowledge of the discussions say. “EPA, with our federal partners, including USDA and the Department of Energy, continues to implement the Renewable Fuel Standard program in accordance with the Clean Air Act, taking into consideration additional direction from Congress, recommendations from DOE, and relevant court decisions,” a spokesperson said. [ read more … ]

Putnam County Ethanol Shutdown Helping Point Fingers at Washington

By Andy Eubank, Hoosier Ag Today  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

POET is idling its Cloverdale, Indiana ethanol processing plant, and the company announcement this week went straight to the issue of small refinery waivers granted by the EPA, most recently Friday’s move of 31 more exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The next several weeks the Putnam County plant will undergo the idle process eventually impacting the processing of over 30 million bushels of corn each year and hundreds of local jobs. The company has already reduced production at half of its 28 locations. [ read more … ]

Farmers say Trump broke promise on ethanol with waivers to refineries

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

Iowa farmers are pushing back after President Trump reneged on a promise to review a national program that gives waivers to small refineries that don’t add ethanol to their gasoline. The president had promised corn farmers he would review the exemption program after a June trip to Iowa, but a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to issue new waivers to fuel producers signaled an end to the administration’s study. [ read more … ]

Primary 2020

Biden blasts Trump on ethanol waivers, China trade impasse

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden today said President Trump’s trade policies are “beating up” on American farmers and the administration’s ethanol waivers for oil companies are a “gigantic mistake.” “We should not be exempting,” Biden said. “We should be insisting that these major oil companies, in fact, meet the criteria that is set.” [ read more … ]

2020 Dems Aim to Capitalize on Trump’s Ethanol Policy

By Brian Dabbs, National Journal  •    •  Posted August 23, 2019

Democratic presidential candidates are exploiting a controversial White House ethanol policy to try to generate support among President Trump’s staunchest backers. The Environmental Protection Agency waived ethanol blending requirements for more than 30 petroleum refiners earlier this month, in a move that continues to infuriate farmers and politicians in Iowa and elsewhere in America’s breadbasket. So far, the EPA is showing no signs of backing down. And Republican-aligned farm representatives say Democrats now have a big opportunity in agricultural communities already reeling from flooding and Chinese retaliatory tariffs. [ read more … ]

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