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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 17, 2019

Top Story

With the clock ticking on ethanol plants, Iowans urge Trump to reverse damage to biofuels industry

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

A farmer-owned ethanol plant in northwest Iowa has shut down — the second in Iowa — facing growing losses that leaders blame on the Trump administration. The plant’s directors are unsure when, or if, Siouxland Energy Cooperative will reopen. Its future depends on whether Donald Trump restores billions of gallons of ethanol and biodiesel demand that the renewable fuels industry says his administration extinguished through exemptions to oil refiners. [ read more … ]

White House Biofuel Plan

Even Donald Trump Thinks He’s Spending Too Much Time on Ethanol

By Jennifer A Dlouhy , Jennifer Jacobs , and Josh Wingrove  •    •  Posted September 17, 2019

Trump already promised a “giant package” of changes he boasted would make farmers happy while keeping oil refineries in business. But it looks like he’ll have to get through at least one more meeting first. More senators — this time from states with big refining interests — are seeking an audience with the president this week. [ read more … ]

Trump backs plan that would boost biofuel quotas 10% in 2020

By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump has tentatively approved a plan to increase the amount of biofuels that oil refiners are required to blend each year to compensate for exemptions handed out to small refiners by the Environmental Protection Agency, two sources familiar with the matter said. The plan is intended to address a major source of anger in U.S. farm country as Trump seeks to hold favor in the Midwest ahead of next year’s election, but it is likely to upset the oil industry, another important political constituency, underscoring the pitfalls of U.S. biofuel policy. [ read more … ]

Trump weighs boosts to biofuels

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

The biggest win for biofuel producers would be a limit on the number of exemptions EPA grants to small refiners from blending mandates under the RFS, Eric reports. Though the exact details are in flux, the ethanol volumes exempted from the program would be limited to the average from the previous three years, which would prevent EPA from hiking those exemptions to wipe out increases it sets in the annual blending mandates, sources said. [ read more … ]

Reynolds hints a Trump announcement on ethanol may be made in Iowa

By Matt McWilliams and O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa   •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

Reynolds said she “feels really good” about last week’s White House meeting with Trump and farm-state senators. “If what we agreed on is what we see in writing, we’ll be supporting it and inviting him here to announce it,” Reynolds said. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Gov. Walz creates Minnesota biofuels council to help ethanol industry

By Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted September 17, 2019

Minnesota is the nation’s fourth-largest ethanol-producing state with 18 operating plants. The state is also a national leader in ethanol consumption. The governor’s council will be commissioned to create a report advising Walz — chairman of the national Governors’ Biofuels Coalition — and his cabinet on to how to expand the use of biofuels and increase their carbon efficiency, Walz’s office said. The state council will also look at using biofuels as part of the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transportation. Walz’s executive order mandates that the bio­fuels report be completed by November 2020. [ read more … ]

Iowa Ethanol Plant Idles Production in Wake of Exemptions

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted September 17, 2019

Siouxland Energy Cooperative in Sioux Center, Iowa, is idling production at its 90-million-gallon corn-ethanol plant in the northwest part of the state, citing a number of reasons for the decision. Siouxland president of the board of directors Kelly Niewenhuis told DTN his company is hoping for a change of course by the Trump administration on biofuels policy, in order to bring the plant back into production.
[ read more … ]

Attacks on Saudi oil facilities – what will it mean for consumers?

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

The attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Saturday will drive up fuel prices worldwide in the world’s largest outage in 50 years. Here’s what it could mean for consumers. [ read more … ]

Oil Prices Jump Most on Record After Saudi Arabia Strike

By Serene Cheong, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

Oil surged the most ever after a strike that wiped out about half of Saudi Arabia’s output capacity heightened concern about more destabilization in the world’s most important crude-producing region. In an extraordinary start to trading on Monday, London’s Brent futures leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices have since pulled back about half of that initial gain but, with Saudi officials downplaying prospects for a rapid recovery, crude is heading for the biggest advance in almost three years. [ read more … ]

Governor plans to veto Trump ‘insurance’ bill

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

“I fully support the principles behind Senate Bill 1: to defeat efforts by the President and Congress to undermine vital federal protections that protect clean air, clean water and endangered species,” Newsom said in a statement. “Senate Bill 1 does not, however, provide the state with any new authority to push back against the Trump Administration’s environmental policies and it limits the state’s ability to rely upon the best available science to protect our environment.” [ read more … ]

Minn. labor unions divided over Green New Deal

By Walker Orenstein, MinnPost/Associated Press  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

Two national leaders of the Service Employees International Union recently came to St. Paul, Minn., to talk about the union’s latest initiative to fight climate change: the Green New Deal. Earlier this summer, the SEIU executive board passed a resolution endorsing the sweeping measure proposed by Democrats in Congress, and the union has since worked to educate its 2 million members about the effort to slow global warming. [ read more … ]

The oil industry vs. the electric car

By GAVIN BADE, Politico  •    •  Posted September 16, 2019

The oil industry is trying to crush the booming electric car movement. Groups backed by industry giants like Exxon Mobil and the Koch empire are waging a state-by-state, multimillion-dollar battle to squelch utilities’ plans to build charging stations across the country. Environmentalists call the fight a reprise of the “Who Killed the Electric Car?” battles that doomed an earlier generation of battery-driven vehicles in the 1990s.
[ read more … ]

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