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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 23, 2019

Top Story

White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

Trump wants to limit RIN prices to help oil refiners: source

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

President Trump has told senators he favors limiting prices on biofuel credits to help petroleum refiners, according to an industry source briefed on yesterday’s White House meeting. Trump’s support for a 10-cent limit on prices of renewable identification numbers — the credits that act as a currency for the renewable fuel standard — could satisfy refiners who oppose his related move to boost the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. An announcement on those policies could come any day, according to industry groups and lawmakers. Word of Trump’s support for limiting prices of RINs emerged from a meeting between him and senators from states with significant petroleum refining interests. [ read more … ]

Economist Proposes Two RFS Changes to Appease Oil, Ethanol

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

With a reported big deal for biofuels in flux, an economist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign put forward a plan on Thursday to account for more than 4 billion gallons of biofuels exempted to small refineries from the Renewable Fuel Standard from 2016 to 2018 by President Donald Trump’s EPA. Senators from oil-producing states met with White House officials on Thursday, putting forward their demands for any RFS deal. In a letter to Trump last Thursday, the group of eight senators who met at the White House said they remained opposed to reallocation.
[ read more … ]

US EPA chief sees no ethanol demand destruction from small refinery waivers

By Meghan Gordon, SP Global  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

Small refinery waivers to the US biofuel mandate have not hurt ethanol demand, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler told Congress on Thursday. “We’ve seen an uptick in ethanol over the last two years,” Wheeler told the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. S&P Global Platts Analytics expects US ethanol consumption to slip to 14.348 billion gallons in 2019, compared with 14.382 billion gallons in 2018, according to US Energy information Administration data. [ read more … ]

Bill would require EPA to account for SREs in RVO rulemakings

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

Legislation introduced by Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., on Sept. 18 would require the U.S. EPA to account for small refinery exemptions (SREs) when formulating annual Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations. The bill would require the U.S. EPA to use the average number of SREs granted in the previous three calendar years when RFS renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for an upcoming year. Information released by Davis’s office states that requiring the EPA to use realistic estimate of the number of SREs they will grant rather than stating they plan to grant zero when calculating their annual RVO will give the industry some degree of certainty and effectively reallocate some of the lost gallons [ read more … ]

Trade

Despite Tough Talk, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations Continue

By Keith Bradsher and Ana Swanson, New York Times  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

The combination on Friday of tough words from President Trumpand the cancellation of a planned trip by Chinese agriculture officials to two farm states seemed to cast a cloud over prospects for a trade deal and caused a sell-off in New York stock trading. But both sides moved on Saturday to indicate that the negotiations continue. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said on Saturday that fairly senior negotiators had “conducted constructive discussions” in Washington in recent days and had “agreed to continue to maintain communication.” [ read more … ]

After ‘Howdy Modi,’ Trump and India’s PM could sign trade deal

By David Lawder in Washington and Neha Dasgupta in New Delhi, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

The United States is also seeking lower tariffs on high-end electronics products, one of the Indian officials said. Both sides are discussing revising India’s domestic content rules on ethanol to allow more imports of the U.S. fuel additive, two U.S. sources familiar with the discussions said. A narrow deal would be a positive first step and leave thorny issues aside such as the new e-commerce rules, said Roger Murry, deputy director of the Alliance for Fair Trade with India, a group of U.S. trade associations. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Iowa scientists warn of ‘sobering extreme heat’

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

More than 200 scientists from 38 Iowa colleges and universities have signed on to a climate change statement that warns of “sobering extreme heat projections” for the Midwest that will put people, livestock and pets at risk. The statement released Wednesday says the World Meteorological Organization identified July as the hottest month in more than 140 years of record-keeping. [ read more … ]

Unprecedented move by EPA puts 13 states in ‘strange place’

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

More than a dozen states are left in the lurch after President Trump stripped California’s authority to set clean car standards. The Trump administration this week rolled back the Golden State’s historic waiver that allows it to set car emissions standards that are more stringent than federal rules. Washington, D.C., and the 13 other states that adopted California’s standards are left in limbo now that the state no longer has that authority. “We’re in a strange place,” said Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director for New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity. [ read more … ]

Amazon puts in ‘largest order ever’ of delivery EVs

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

Retail giant Amazon.com Inc. said yesterday it would buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from startup automaker Rivian in a deal that one analyst called “quite possibly, the largest single EV purchase in history.” Announced as part of Amazon’s pledge to make all of its operations carbon neutral by 2040, the first vehicles from the deal — electric vans for package delivery — will begin appearing in 2021 and roll out over the course of the decade, with the full fleet introduced by 2030. [ read more … ]

Opinion

Attack on Saudi Oil Adds Urgency to Trump’s Biofuel Promises

By Jim Talent, Morning Consult  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

The president’s recent promise to restore the market for U.S. biofuels is vital to the farm economy, but it takes on even greater urgency amid turmoil in the Middle East and rising fuel prices. Following the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, crude oil futures jumped nearly 20 percent. It was the largest spike we’ve seen since the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in 1991. The impact on U.S. motorists will be felt for months, if not longer. Industry analysts anticipate that drivers can expect to pay about 10 to 25 cents more per gallon due to the attack.
[ read more … ]

Put Workers and Consumers Above Politics

By Mike Sommers, Real Clean Energy  •    •  Posted September 22, 2019

Higher-ethanol fuels can cause engine damage for vehicles that aren’t designed for it, and most vehicles aren’t. Nearly 70 percent of vehicles on the road today were not designed to run on fuel with 15 percent ethanol volume, known as E15. Using it can void warranties and require costly repairs. Plus, it’s less energy dense than ethanol-free gasoline, requiring more frequent fill-ups. That’s why the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates yearly ethanol quotas, is so bad for consumers. [ read more … ]

 

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