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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 26, 2019

Top Story

Another Iowa business shutters as refinery waivers continue

By Robin Opsahl, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted September 26, 2019

Another Iowa biodiesel plant announced Tuesday it’s shutting down as Gov. Kim Reynolds warned that federal waivers exempting oil companies from using renewable fuels are hurting the state’s rural economy. Reynolds met with President Donald Trump, along with U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa and other Midwest Republican leaders nearly two weeks ago to discuss harm biofuels producers and farmers are experiencing. [ read more … ]

White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

U.S. Biofuel Industry is Still Waiting

By Hoosier Ag Today  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

Despite meetings last week at the White House, the wait continues for the biofuels industry. No new details have emerged on the possible reallocation of lost biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply. USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky announced on Monday that the administration isn’t ready to give out details on potential changes in volume obligations to offset lost demand due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s small-refinery RFS waiver exemptions. Censky says the administration wants to ensure that potential policy changes will meet the blend level requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard. [ read more … ]

Congressional Biofuels Caucus urges EPA to account for SREs

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

A bipartisan group of 25 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler on Sept. 20 urging the agency to account for small refinery exemptions (SREs) when setting annual Renewable Fuel Standard blending obligations. “We are concerned over EPA’s continued abuse of small refinery exemption authority, the uncertainty involved in a possible reset of statutory volumes, and negative economic implications these realities are having on our rural communities,” the representatives wrote. [ read more … ]

EPA Official Says Agency ‘Anticipates’ Releasing 2020 RVO by Nov. 30

By Jeff Barber, OPIS  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

EPA “anticipates” that it will release its final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) by the statutory Nov. 30 deadline, Dallas Burkholder with the agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality said Tuesday at the OPIS 11th annual RFS2, RINs and Biodiesel forum here. Burkholder’s comment comes as the White House continues to work toward completing package of proposals designed to placate a biofuels industry angry over EPA’s increased approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
[ read more … ]


Trump says trade deal with China could happen sooner than people think

By Jeff Mason, Michelle Nichols, David Brunnstrom and David Lawder, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a deal to end a nearly 15-month trade war with China could happen sooner than people think and that the Chinese were making big agricultural purchases from the United States, including of beef and pork. “They want to make a deal very badly… It could happen sooner than you think,” Trump told reporters in New York.
[ read more … ]

American Farmers Are Main Winners from U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

By Mario Parker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

Under a trade agreement announced by Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, the Asian country will lower or reduce tariffs on some $7.2 billion of American-grown farming products, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Japan will reduce tariffs in stages on U.S. farm goods, such as beef and pork, USTR said in a statement Wednesday. The country will eliminate tariffs on $1.3 billion of U.S. agriculture products, including almonds, blueberries, sweet corn and sorghum, it said. It will also eliminate duties on commodities like ethanol, cheese and whey, frozen poultry and oranges, USTR said. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Minn. to adopt tougher rules

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) today announced his intent to adopt California’s more stringent clean car standards. The announcement falls on the heels of New Mexico’s commitment yesterday to adopt California’s standards. It also comes after the Trump administration last week proposed revoking states’ legal authority under the Clean Air Act to set more stringent vehicle emissions rules than the federal government. [ read more … ]

Minnesota releases plan to reduce harmful vehicle emissions

By: Kim Wynn, Grand Forks Herald  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

“Minnesotans are concerned about climate change and want to see meaningful action,” said Will Seuffert, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. “With the transportation sector now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, this report lays an important foundation for advancing low-carbon transportation options.” The report calls for the creation of clean car standards and expansion of biofuels infrastructure. The latter posing a challenge as many are expressing alarm by the number of waivers being issued by the Environmental Protection Agency exempting them from biofuel requirements.
[ read more … ]

N.M. to adopt Calif.’s tougher standards

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

In a rebuke to President Trump, New Mexico will adopt California’s more stringent clean car standards, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced yesterday at Climate Week in New York City. The move comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s attempts to curtail state rights to impose tougher standards. [ read more … ]

California defiant as Trump administration threatens to halt highway funds over smog

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

The Trump administration is threatening to withhold highway funding from California if it doesn’t clean up its air quality. But California leaders are firing back, hard — and accusing the federal government of actually preventing it from cleaning up its pollution. “We won’t be intimidated by this brazen political stunt,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a defiant statement after the Environmental Protection Agency threat. [ read more … ]

Wheeler draws barbs for saying rollback won’t affect warming

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 25, 2019

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler claimed last week that the rollback of Obama-era clean car standards would have a negligible impact on global temperature rise. That’s technically true. But critics — including at least one former EPA chief — are blasting the claim. They say it was phrased in a misleading way and based on a premise that the Supreme Court has rejected.
[ read more … ]


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