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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 24, 2019

Top Story

At U.N. Climate Summit, a Call for Action Yields Few Commitments

By Somini Sengupta and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted September 24, 2019

The United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday was meant to highlight concrete promises by presidents, prime ministers and corporate executives to wean the global economy from fossil fuels to avoid the worst effects of global warming. But despite the protests in the streets, China on Monday made no new promises to take stronger climate action. The United States, having vowed to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the pact among nations to jointly fight climate change, said nothing at all. A host of countries made only incremental promises. [ read more … ]

White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

Biofuel Waiting Game Continues

By Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

The waiting continues for the biofuels industry after meetings on the Renewable Fuels Standard continued last week at the White House, but no new details have emerged. Steve Censky, deputy secretary for USDA, said at an agribusiness conference Monday in Kansas City that the Trump administration at the moment was not ready to release any new details on what might come from changes in volume obligations for ethanol and biodiesel to offset lost demand due to EPA’s approval of small-refinery exemptions. Censky did indicate the administration is looking to ensure that policy changes would meet the blend levels spelled out in the RFS law. [ read more … ]

Trump’s Biofuels Compromise Is Collapsing

By Tristan R. Brown, Seeking Alpha  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

President Donald Trump reportedly said that last week’s negotiations between biofuel producers and refiners over the U.S. blending mandate were “more difficult than dealing with the Taliban.” Mr. Trump’s frustration stems from the fact that the two sides remain far apart, with refiners wanting an effective negation of the increased blending volumes promised to biofuel producers. Time is rapidly running out for a compromise to be agreed to by both sides even as Mr. Trump’s re-election prospects continue to depend upon Corn Belt votes.
[ read more … ]

Trump’s billion-dollar gambit: An ethanol deal to meet the demands of farmers and Big Oil

By Tim Mullaney, CNBC  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

The Trump administration appears to be moving toward a deal to placate ethanol interests who have blamed the president’s deregulatory push for forcing the closing of 17 ethanol plants. It’s a deal where the administration is trying to do damage control and balance the demands of farmers and oil companies, two of Donald Trump’s most loyal constituencies. The deal, still not yet reduced to a written bill, is likely to help oil companies that have been given permission to stop blending ethanol with gasoline at some of their refineries to make up the lost production at other plants, said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for ethanol producers. [ read more … ]

Reynolds says Grassley was ‘bad cop’ during Oval Office meeting on ethanol

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

“Maybe Senator Grassley was taking a little of the ‘bad cop’ thing, yeah, right to the left of the president. There was charts and there was slammin’ and there was, you know, laying it out on what we needed to do to go forward,” Reynolds said. “And then I turned to Senator Ernst and you cleaned house and I said: ‘Amen! That’s what we need to do.’” [ read more … ]

Minnesota looks for answers to ethanol waivers

By Trey Mewes, Mankato Free Press  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

A group of Senate Republicans, including area lawmakers Julie Rosen and Rich Draheim, sent a letter to President Donald Trump last week asking him to cease issuing ethanol waivers. “These waivers are just putting everything in disarray,” said Rosen, R-Vernon Center. The letter follows after Walz and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wrote Trump earlier this month with a similar request. Much of southern Minnesota has been left reeling over the past month after the Environmental Protection Agency issued 31 waivers. The resulting shock to the biofuels industry, combined with ongoing agricultural struggles due to ongoing trade disputes and low commodities prices, has since led 21 biofuels refineries across the country to close.
[ read more … ]

Car Rule

California vs. Trump, part 60

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

The Golden State filed its 60th lawsuit against the Trump administration on Friday, this time to defend its authority to set its own greenhouse gas limits for passenger cars. The lawsuit — which 22 other states and three cities also joined — came just one day after the Transportation Department and the EPA took steps to formally revoke California’s authority. The states are also expected to sue the EPA separately. [ read more … ]

How decades of L.A. smog led to California’s war with Trump over car pollution

By Reis Thebault, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

“People don’t realize just how bad it was and how much better it is today,” said Carlson, who’s writing a book on the region’s history of air pollution. The city and the state have made extraordinary progress in the past half century, and it’s largely because of California’s ability under the Clean Air Act to curb dangerous emissions from the biggest polluters around: automobiles. But this week, President Trump said he would revoke California’s ability to set its own auto emissions standards, a provision that gave the most populous state significant sway over the car industry. [ read more … ]

Opinion

Cullen raising important issues | The Storm Lake Times

By Doug Sombke, The Storm Lake Times  •    •  Posted September 24, 2019

There are signs of bipartisan movement toward more innovative solutions that do not require Congressional action, only a stroke of this or the next President’s pen. A recent The Hill op-ed, “Environmental Advocates Should Take Another Look at Biofuels” by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and former Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO) expressed growing bipartisan support for regulatory policies to reduce transportation sector carbon footprints and harmful toxics emissions. Advances in agricultural production, high octane renewable fuels manufacture, and fuel combustion technologies in the U.S., China, Brazil, and other nations offer dramatic benefits in terms of the public health and welfare, rural economies, and reduced oil consumption.  [ read more … ]

Letter to the editor: EPA is not protecting farmers

By Kel Butcher, The Morning Sun  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

Across the heartland, farm income is down by 45 percent since the end of 2019, and rural communities are suffering. Biofuel plants in the Midwest have idled production, and many have closed their doors permanently. President Trump promised to put farmers first, but his Environmental Protection Agency is doing the opposite. Instead, the agency is granting so-called “hardship” waivers to multibillion-dollar oil giants like Chevron, allowing them to skirt federal blending laws, thus pushing biofuels out of the market. [ read more … ]

Is EPA At War With The Ethanol Industry?

By Robert Rapier, Forbes  •    •  Posted September 23, 2019

Following my recent series of ethanol articles, I engaged in a substantive discussion with Douglas A. Durante, who is the Executive Director of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, a pro-ethanol advocacy group. I am publishing our exchange in two articles. In Part 1, we discussed the origins of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and whether a different approach is needed (my position). [ read more … ]

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