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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 4, 2019

Top Story

Survey Finds Strong Opposition to EPA Oil Refinery Waivers, Strong Support for RFS

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

Registered voters oppose the Trump administration’s actions to exempt oil refineries from renewable fuel blending obligations by a margin of nearly two to one, according to new polling data released today by the Renewable Fuels Association. The nationwide survey, by Morning Consult, also found strong support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. In fact, support for the Renewable Fuel Standard reached its highest level since RFA began polling on RFS support in 2016. [ read more … ]

White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

Trump’s EPA to Detail Biofuel Boost After Corn-State Criticism

By Jennifer A Dlouhy , Mario Parker , and Jennifer Jacobs  •    •  Posted October 4, 2019

The Trump administration on Friday will announce plans to aid corn-based ethanol and soybean-based biodiesel, capping weeks of deliberations over how to temper a wave of criticism from biofuel advocates in the U.S. Midwest. The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to announce several changes to propel those renewable fuels, including a commitment to bolster annual biofuel-blending quotas to compensate for waivers exempting some small refineries from the mandates. The shift, which still must be formally proposed and codified, would effectively force bigger, non-exempted refineries to take up the slack. [ read more … ]

Ethanol, Corn Producers Await RFS Plan

By Todd Neeley and Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted October 4, 2019

In what appear to be the final hours leading up to the release of a long-awaited biofuels proposal from President Donald Trump, ethanol producers and farmers reiterated on a press call Thursday the importance of EPA doing something to account for biofuel gallons waived from the Renewable Fuel Standard. “We’re in very dire circumstances and we need the issue resolved,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. The Trump administration reportedly is set to release a plan sometime soon. That plan may include EPA devising a method for accounting for biofuel gallons lost to small-refinery exemptions [ read more … ]

Trump administration likely to announce details of biofuels deal by Friday: sources

By Stephanie Kelly and Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

The Trump administration is expected to announce today details of a U.S. biofuels policy deal to help farmers angry over waivers granted to refiners exempting them from using corn-based ethanol and other biofuels. The White House has held weeks of discussions with farm- and oil-state senators and executives at oil refiners and officials at biofuels producers. Three of the sources said the plan would be unveiled on Friday at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), while the fourth did not specify the time. A White House spokesman declined to comment. [ read more … ]

As harvest begins and biofuel plants idle, ethanol backers grow impatient for deal

By Joe Morton, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

Impatience is growing among Midwestern corn farmers and ethanol plants looking for an official announcement of the long-awaited deal to boost biofuels production. “Would we like it to happen this week? Sure, we’d like it to happen last week,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. At issue is a federal mandate that billions of gallons of ethanol and biodiesel be blended into the nation’s fuel supply, a requirement known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. 
[ read more … ]

Perdue and Reynolds on upcoming biofuels package

By Julie Harker, Brownfield  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

Several media reports say President Trump is expected to sign-off on a biofuels package Friday and publicize it next week. Ag Secretary Perdue told reporters at World Dairy Expo this week the administration plans to maintain the minimum 15 billion gallon level, “President Trump has insisted that we maintain 15 Billion gallons and even in spite of small refinery waivers that may mean increasing the offset which the EPA has on their rules. They can estimate what the award will be.”     [ read more … ]

Trump unveils new ethanol plan, short on details, that promises to replace exempted gallons

By Donelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted October 4, 2019

Faced with a rural rebellion, the Trump administration announced a plan Friday that promises to restore demand for billions of gallons of renewable fuel lost through granting waivers to oil refiners. Under the plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that it will begin accounting for demand for corn-based ethanol and soybean-based biodiesel in 2020 that was lost when the administration granted small refiners exemptions from a federal mandate. That mandate, called the Renewable Fuel Standard, outlines how many gallons of ethanol and biodiesel refiners must blend into the nation’s fuel supply each year. [ read more … ]


Trump says Chinese delegation coming to U.S. next week for trade talks

By Roberta Rampton, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

President Donald Trump said on Thursday a delegation from China would come to the United States next week for more trade talks. “China’s coming in next week. We’re going to have a meeting with them. We’ll see. But we’re doing very well,” Trump said before leaving on a trip to Florida. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Climate language deleted from car rules document

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

The White House deleted language about how climate change poses a “serious challenge” from a proposal to preempt California’s clean cars program, new documents show. An earlier draft of the proposal from EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contained the phrase “while global climate change is a serious challenge.” That language was nixed while the proposal was under review at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
[ read more … ]

Trump officials likely to back off automotive regulations freeze

By Ben Geman, Axios  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

The move, depending on the details, will likely force automakers into tough decisions about whether to endorse it. The industry’s position is that there should be annual increases, rather than no gains through the mid-2020s. EPA and the Transportation Department had initially proposed freezing the Obama administration’s planned increases in 2020. [ read more … ]

Primary 2020

Flush With Cash, Pete Buttigieg Bets His Campaign on a Breakthrough in Iowa

By Trip Gabriel., New York Times  •    •  Posted October 4, 2019

Mr. Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor who shot to prominence in the spring but has since slipped back, has determined that while television news and many in the political class focus on impeachment, he has a shot at trying to organize his way to a top-tier finish in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. Thanks to a nearly $25 million fund-raising bounty in the spring, which he topped up with a respectable $19.1 million over the summer, as reported Tuesday, Mr. Buttigieg has been able to invest in a gold-plated ground game in Iowa as he seeks to challenge two candidates who have been organizing for longer here, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Rick Perry Is Said to Be Stepping Down as Energy Secretary by Year’s End

By Lisa Friedman and Maggie Haberman, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 4, 2019

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has aggressively promoted President Trump’s fossil fuel agenda, is planning to step down by December, ending his run as one of the longest-serving cabinet members in a tumultuous administration, according to two people familiar with his plans. Mr. Perry’s tenure at the Energy Department has been marked by fierce battles over the role that coal and nuclear energy should continue to play in the United States energy landscape. The agency under his direction has tried and failed to prop up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, and has energetically trumpeted oil and gas development while overseeing plans to reduce funding for wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. [ read more … ]

Trump’s approval rating falls below 50% in South Dakota for first time

By Lisa Kaczke, Argus Leader  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

The percentage of South Dakotans who approve and disapprove of President Donald Trump is nearly equal for the first time in his presidency.  Forty-nine percent of South Dakotans approve of Trump while 48% of South Dakotans disapprove of Trump, with a margin of error of 3 percent, according to the Morning Consult’s September polling released Thursday. His monthly approval rating has remained in the 50-60% range in South Dakota since reaching a high of 62% in March and April 2017, and the September poll was the first time Trump’s approval rating has fallen below 50% in the state, according to the Morning Consult. [ read more … ]

Minnesota Gov. Walz seeks applicants for Biofuels Council

By Jake Rinehart, KEYC  •    •  Posted October 3, 2019

Applications are now open for all 15 seats on Gov. Tim Walz’s Biofuels Council. The members of the Biofuels Council will advise the governor and cabinet on how to best support the Minnesota biofuels industry. “The Governor’s Biofuels Council demonstrates our commitment to supporting the agriculture and biofuels industries and seizing the opportunity to move Minnesota toward a cleaner, greener transportation sector,” said Walz. “I encourage Minnesotans in every corner of the state to apply and share their expertise on this critical issue.”
[ read more … ]


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