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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 3, 2019

Top Story

Farm-state fury creates pressure for Trump as trade, energy pain collide

By David J. Lynch, Washington Post  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

After two decades, Siouxland this month halted operations following the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to exempt 31 small oil refiners from a federal law requiring them to blend ethanol in their gasoline. The waivers, which the Trump administration has approved almost four times as often as its predecessor, have undercut demand for ethanol and the corn used to make it, farmers said. “The waivers are what pushed us over the edge,” said Steve Westra, 46, the plant manager. “It absolutely killed the potential for anybody to make any money at this.”
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White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

Trump’s EPA may use partial refinery waivers under biofuel deal: sources

By Stephanie Kelly, Jarrett Renshaw and Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

Since President Donald Trump took office, the EPA has vastly expanded its use of such waivers, giving them to refineries owned by huge, profitable companies like Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp. It has also routinely provided full exemptions to refineries even when the Department of Energy has recommended only partial relief for those facilities. The proposal to use partial waivers is part of a larger deal that Trump promised related to ethanol, hashed out after a series of meetings with biofuel officials, farm- and oil-state senators and refining executives in September, the sources said. [ read more … ]

Small Refineries Petition Courts

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

Two small refiners not receiving exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard in EPA’s latest round of waivers announced on Aug. 9, continue to fight the agency’s rejection in federal court. At the same time, agriculture and biofuel interests continue to wait for a potential biofuels deal from the Trump administration. On Aug. 9, the EPA announced the approval of 31 new small-refinery exemptions to the RFS for 2018 and rejected six total requests. The agency still has two additional requests for 2018 pending. At this point, two refiners have petitioned federal courts for a review of the EPA’s decision. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

White House denied air regulators meetings

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

The White House refused to meet with two groups of air pollution regulators regarding its rollback of clean car standards, despite holding several meetings with industry advocates. Late last night, the White House Office of Management and Budget denied requests for meetings on the clean cars rollback from the California Air Resources Board and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Oil heads for 2-Month low as bleak demand signals proliferate

By Robert Tuttle and Jacquelyn Melinek, Bloomberg,  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

Oil fell to the lowest in almost two months as negative economic signals darkened the outlook for global energy demand. Futures dropped 0.8% in New York on Tuesday. Manufacturing in the world’s largest economy has slumped and the World Trade Organization cut its forecast for commerce to a decade low. The bleak economic picture contrasted with a plunge in OPEC crude output last month driven almost entirely by crippling attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations.
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Wisconsin corn growers, ethanol producers opposing small refinery exemptions

By Alex Moe. WisBusiness  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

Ethanol producers and corn growers in Wisconsin say the Trump administration’s move to exempt certain refineries from biofuel requirements is harming their industries. Mark Marquis is CEO of Marquis Energy, which has operations in Wisconsin and Illinois. He says the company’s Necedah plant has had to cut ethanol production and corn purchases due to low margins, driven domestically by the small refinery exemptions recently approved by the EPA. [ read more … ]

Appeals court tosses EPA ‘good neighbor’ ozone rule

By Pamela King, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 2, 2019

A panel of appeals court judges scrapped a Trump-era rule yesterday that it said did not set strong enough restrictions on downwind states’ exposure to smog-forming air pollutants produced by upwind neighbors. The 2018 regulation, known as the closeout rule, relies on a part of the Obama-era Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) update that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently instructed EPA to revisit. [ read more … ]

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