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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 14, 2019

Top Story

Governors urge Trump extend RVP waiver to E30

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

Representatives of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition sent a letter to President Trump Oct. 8 urging him to use existing executive authority take four specific actions aimed and helping to restore and grow the U.S. agriculture and biofuel industries. The letter, authored by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, vice chair of the coalition, references the proposed supplemental rule expected to be released by the U.S. EPA to address future small refinery exemptions (SREs). Walz and Noem call the supplemental rule “an important effort towards restoring confidence to producers and brining stability to the industry” but also request the administration “use existing executive authority to act immediately to help restore the nation’s agriculture and biofuels industries without Congress’s approval.” [ read more … ]

Trade

Trump Says China to Boost Farm Spending to Up to $50 Billion

By Isis Almeida and Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

China will at least double its spending on U.S. agriculture as part of a partial trade accord between the two countries that’s likely to be well received by crop traders when markets reopen. Under terms of the arrangement, spending will scale to an annual figure of $40 billion to $50 billion over two years, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. U.S. agriculture exports to China totaled $19.5 billion in 2017, government data show. [ read more … ]

Trump Reaches ‘Phase One’ Deal With China and Delays Planned Tariffs

By Ana Swanson, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

The initial deal, which Mr. Trump said had been reached “in principle” would involve China buying $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. The agreement also includes some provisions on intellectual property, including forced technology transfer and would give American financial services firms more access to China’s market, the president said. In exchange, the United States will not go ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent next week. But the president has not made a final decision on whether to increase tariffs further on Dec. 15, as he has threatened. [ read more … ]

US, China Strike Partial Trade Deal

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

The United States and China reached a partial trade agreement on Friday, following a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., between trade officials on both sides and a meeting on Friday between President Donald Trump and China’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He. The U.S. agreed to hold off on scheduled increases in tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods in exchange for China expanding purchases of American goods, including agriculture products. China is expected to make between $40 billion and $50 billion in agriculture purchases. [ read more … ]

Trump’s China Deal Yields Plenty of Questions, and Critics

By Shawn Donnan, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

With the partial agreement with China that he announced Friday, President Donald Trump is back in dealmaker mode after months of escalation. That doesn’t mean, though, that the new grand bargain that Trump once promised with China is any more than a small step closer to reality, or that a curtain is being drawn on the uncertainty his trade wars have brought to the global economy. It also leaves a gnawing question hanging over Trump and the economic fallout from his assault on China and global supply chains as he prepares to face the electorate in 2020: Has it really all been worth it? [ read more … ]

White House Proposed Biofuel Plan

EPA’s SRE proposal under OMB review

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

The supplemental rulemaking referenced by the U.S. EPA in an Oct. 4 announcement regarding its plans to reallocate Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations waived through future small refinery exemptions (SREs) appears to be under White House Office of Management and Budget review. Information posted to the reginfo.gov website shows the EPA delivered a proposed rule titled “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2020, Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes for 2021, and Other Changes” to the OMB on Oct. 8. That proposed rule likely contains language seeking public comments on the EPA’s plan for the reallocation of future SREs.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Minnesota will track urban air pollution by ZIP code

By Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

“We do understand that there is some kind of relation between air pollution and asthma,” said MPCA environmental research scientist Monika Vadali. “The goal was to understand how air pollution varies from ZIP code to ZIP code because we don’t have any data on that.” State health officials have already shown that hospitalization rates for asthma, for example, vary greatly by ZIP code in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with neighborhoods that are poorer and more heavily minority suffering significantly higher rates. [ read more … ]

Who Willed the Electric Car? China, and Here’s Why

By Lauren Silva Laughlin, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted October 13, 2019

The 2006 documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car” portrayed Big Oil executives as cartoonish enemies of a green future when EVs were in their infancy. Today, EVs really are a major threat to future demand for Exxon’s main commodity. But there is at least a grain of truth to Mr. Woods’s criticism. China, the world’s largest crude importer, is also the world leader in electric vehicles. But it still gets much of its power from coal, the dirtiest source of electricity. Add in the energy-intensive process of making batteries, which China also seeks to dominate, and EVs aren’t particularly green—at least in China.
[ read more … ]

Primary

Trump’s mounting troubles in Iowa could spell doom for Republicans

By Art Cullen, The Guardian  •    •  Posted October 14, 2019

President Trump may have already lost Iowa and the rest of the midwest, but now he risks throwing the Senate into play. Until last week, Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, was pretty safe, with high approval ratings and an ability to lie low in her re-election bid. Now, she is facing tough questions back home about trade and impeachment that are making her squirm. [ read more … ]

Editorial

Editorial: EPA announcement helps, but much uncertainty remains for ethanol sector

By Editorial Board, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted October 14, 2019

The ethanol industry is under great strain, with plant closures and reduced production. Amid that uncertainty, Midlands ethanol producers and corn growers have directed strong criticism at the Environmental Protection Agency this year for its ethanol-related actions. The Trump administration announced a measure of relief earlier this month. How much benefit the changes will actually provide remains a question mark.
[ read more … ]

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