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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 5, 2019

Top Story

Governors Recommend Steps President Trump Can Take to Reduce the Impact of EPA’s Small Refinery Waivers

By Governors’ Biofuels Coalition  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sent a letter to President Trump recommending actions the President might include in his plan to mitigate the effects of the small refinery waivers.  Governor Walz and Governor Noem are the chair and vice chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition.   “The recent approval of 31 additional small refinery waivers undermines the integrity of the RFS and harms our states’ agricultural communities, which have already been affected by the Administration’s tariffs,” the governors wrote. “Farmers, environmentalists, and consumers would all benefit from these actions.”   Governor Walz and Governor Noem also offered to work with the Administration to find solutions to address the impact the waivers have had on the nation’s agriculture community and ethanol producers. [ read more … ]

Walz, Noem ask Trump to tap the brakes on small refinery waivers

By: Dana Ferguson, DL Online  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

“Every waiver EPA approved affects our states,” Walz and Noem wrote. “The recent approval of 31 additional small refinery waivers undermines the integrity of the RFS and harms our states’ agricultural communities, which have already been affected by the Administration’s tariffs.” Both Noem and Walz said they’d work with the president to find solutions. And they encouraged Trump to consider as part of upcoming plan adjustments to octane standards, new partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and update in next year’s Renewable Volume Obligations that would include hundreds of millions of gallons lost this year. [ read more … ]


U.S. biodiesel industry leaders urge Trump’s EPA to lift biodiesel mandate – Reuters

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

The biodiesel leaders told Region 6 Administrator Ken McQueen that the biodiesel industry has also been hurt by the waivers, not just the ethanol industry, and an increase in blending mandates would help compensate for that, the sources said. During the meeting, the group added that it does not benefit from the lifting of a summertime ban on E15, a higher-ethanol blend of gasoline, the sources said. The Trump administration earlier this year lifted the ban, hoping to give a boost to Midwest farmers struggling under his trade wars. [ read more … ]

Ethanol Group Points to Trump’s Change of Direction on Reallocating Gallons

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

EPA didn’t ask for public comments on the small-refinery waivers program; nevertheless, the agency received a number of comments calling on it to make adjustments to the latest Renewable Fuel Standard volumes to account for waived gallons. The public comment period on EPA’s latest renewable volume obligation proposal closed at the end of last week.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Trump has angered the wrong people: Farmers

By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

For Ohio, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and other states whose farm economies are seeing record bankruptcies, the villain is not merely the president. Their Republican representatives and senators could take tariff authority back from Trump. They could also publicly object to Trump’s use of farmers as fodder in his senseless, unwinnable trade war with China. Instead, they do nothing. [ read more … ]

Digging out of Trump’s ethanol dilemma

By RYAN MCCRIMMON, Politico  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

The action last month sparked a backlash from producers who say the exemptions undermine demand for ethanol, exacerbating economic challenges in agriculture including low crop prices and the trade war with China. The National Corn Growers Association on Friday said Trump’s ethanol moves have cost 2,700 rural jobs and affected demand for 300 million bushels of corn due to lower ethanol production and plant closures. [ read more … ]

FUEL FOR THE FUTURE – An Introduction

By Reg Modlin, Natural Resource Solutions  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

Analysis in the past 5-10 years arguably left open questions about ethanol’s combustion efficiency, potential environmental effects, available alternatives, commercial availability, impacts to land use and food production, and more. Contemporary analysis, however, has discovered that agricultural technologies have continued to evolve. Land use evaluation technologies have greatly evolved. And the use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel pool is well accommodated and expanding. [ read more … ]

Primary 2020

Warren challenges 2020 Democrats to embrace 10-year clean energy transition

By Amanda Becker and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

Inslee’s clean energy strategy – which had been billed as the gold standard by environmental advocates – set a 10-year plan to achieve 100% clean energy by slashing carbon emissions from U.S. electricity generation, vehicles and buildings. “While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda,” Warren wrote in a post for the website Medium. [ read more … ]

Climate Change Could Be a Problem in 2020 … for Democrats

By MICHAEL GRUNWALD, Politico  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

Elissa Slotkin has learned that climate change is both a national emergency and a political opportunity. As an assistant secretary of defense under President Barack Obama, she helped lead the Pentagon’s first study of how climate change threatens U.S. military bases. Then as a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2018, she attacked her Republican opponent for questioning the scientific consensus on climate change—and that’s one reason she’s now a Democratic member of Congress. “We talk about the weather all the time in Michigan, and we all know it’s getting weird,” she says. “To most people, straight-out denial feels extreme.” [ read more … ]


Trump’s ethanol waivers have betrayed the trust of farmers like me

By Darrel McAlexander, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted September 5, 2019

After thanking Trump for following through on his commitment to allow year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol blends, I specifically warned him that his Environmental Protection Agency was doing damage to the farm economy by issuing secret waivers to oil refiners. These exemptions — some of which were reportedly given to huge companies like Chevron and Exxon — allow refiners to ignore their legal obligation to blend renewable fuels like the ethanol made at SIRE and the biodiesel made at Iowa’s 11 biodiesel plants. The president shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said, “I’ll look into it.” [ read more … ]

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