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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 20, 2019

Top Story

White House Biofuel Reform Plan

Trump Invokes Taliban in Latest Deliberations Over Biofuel Plan

By Jennifer Jacobs , Mario Parker, and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 20, 2019

President Donald Trump on Thursday expressed his rising frustration over trying to reach an accord between warring oil and biofuel interests by saying the negotiations were more difficult than dealing with the Taliban. Trump made the observation during a White House meeting with oil-state senators who were trying to discourage the president from advancing a slate of changes meant to bolster corn-based ethanol and soybean-based biodiesel, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not be named describing a private conversation. [ read more … ]

‘Very engaged’ Trump talks biofuels policy with U.S. oil-state senators – Reuters

By Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Tom Brown, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 20, 2019

President Donald Trump on Thursday discussed biofuels policy with senators from U.S. oil states, including Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who said the president was engaged on the issue that has pitted Big Oil and Big Corn against each other. The oil industry is opposed to the Trump administration’s tentative plan to boost annual ethanol usage mandates. Trump put forward the plan after a flurry of meetings in recent days with biofuels and oil refining advocates where he tested ideas to compensate the corn industry, a crucial political constituency, for his administration’s decision in August to exempt 31 oil refineries from their blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. [ read more … ]

Trade

U.S., Chinese trade deputies face off in Washington amid deep differences – Reuters

By Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators were set to resume face-to-face talks for the first time in nearly two months on Thursday, as the world’s two largest economies try to bridge deep policy differences and find a way out of a bitter and protracted trade war. The negotiations, on Thursday and Friday, are aimed at laying the groundwork for high-level talks in early October that will determine whether the two countries are working toward a solution or headed for new and higher tariffs on each other’s goods. [ read more … ]

Trump’s $28 Billion Bet That Rural America Will Stick With Him

By Mario Parker and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was fielding questions at a farm show in Decatur, Ill., in late August when his boss rang his cellphone. Perdue put the call on speaker and placed it next to the microphone so the crowd could hear Donald Trump speak. A couple of years ago, a pep talk from Trump might have drawn raucous applause from one of the president’s key constituencies. This time the crowd was subdued. “The aid package that has come in is a relief, and it softens the landing, but it’s not a solution, it’s a Band-Aid,” says Stan Born, a farmer who attended the event. When asked if the payments make him whole, Born, who grows 500 acres of soybeans near Decatur, responds, “Of course not.” He’d rather have free trade, he says.
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Car Rule

Trump officials defend plan to revoke Calif. waiver

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

Senior Trump administration officials today defended their decision to block California’s plans to enforce greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, saying they run afoul of the law and would stop the benefits that rolling back federal car rules would bring. Dubbing their decision the “One National Program Rule,” the leaders of the Department of Transportation and EPA said California — which is striving to enforce tougher emissions limits for cars sold within its borders and those of 13 states that choose to follow its rules — stands in the way of nationwide consistency for car manufacturers and consumers. [ read more … ]

Democrats plot defense of Calif. emission regs

By Timothy Cama and Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

Congressional Democrats may try to fight President Trump’s decision to block California’s greenhouse gas regulations for cars, even if such action would merely be symbolic. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s (D) expected lawsuit against the revocation of the state’s waiver to the Clean Air Act is the main route for opponents’ challenges, but lawmakers are considering getting in on the action, as well, possibly through the little-used Congressional Review Act. [ read more … ]

Ag Secretary: Deal With China Must Go Beyond Agricultural Purchases

By Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators start talks again on Thursday in Washington, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday that a successful trade deal still must go beyond buying U.S. farm products. “We want them to be a customer, but we want them to play buy the rules everybody else plays by,” Perdue told representatives from the fruit and vegetable industries at the United Fresh conference Wednesday morning. [ read more … ]

Automakers caught in tup-of-war between Trump and California

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

There’s no way around it: Automakers are caught in the middle. Back in 2017, when the Trump administration first came into office, car companies lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to take another look at federal fuel economy standards. The Obama EPA in its final few months had rushed through a determination to keep the stringent standards, and car companies wanted some relief, they told the administration. But now, car companies are the ones being lobbied by two warring factions — the Trump administration and its allies on one side, and California, Democratic lawmakers, and environmentalists on the other. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

New Study Stresses Ethanol’s Benefits for Energy Security

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

A new study shows that the Renewable Fuel Standard not only saves drivers money at the gas pump every day, but also enhances energy security by greatly reducing or even eliminating the blow to our nation’s drivers when global oil production is disrupted. The analysis confirms that the growing supply of ethanol significantly helps dampen gasoline price shocks that result from sudden oil market disruptions. If renewable fuels were removed from the fuel supply, gas prices would be more than $1 per gallon higher, the study found. [ read more … ]

‘I want to look better.’ For Trump, climate is a laugh line

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 19, 2019

A master of messaging and branding, Trump has transformed complex energy policies into laugh lines at rallies. And while the accuracy of such remarks is often questionable, they’re hard to dispute in public debates and other formats that will be a feature of the presidential election, experts say. Trump is skilled at crafting an identification with his audience members, such that they feel he represents them in a particular way, even if large oil companies or car manufacturers are the true beneficiaries of his policies, said Anthony Arrigo, a rhetoric and communication professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.