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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 22, 2019

Top Story

‘No more Iowa nice’: Ethanol policies could hurt Trump as farmers’ frustration grows

By Erin Murphy, The Gazette  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

The warnings were pointed and the language forceful. Iowa renewable fuels industry leaders and farmers are not happy with President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency. And that frustration may be costing the president significant support in a state he won handily three years ago. And boy, did they express their displeasure. [ read more … ]

Trade

Trump praises U.S.-China trade talks as Beijing seeks billions in WTO case against U.S.

By Steve Holland and Makini Brice, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said efforts to end a U.S. trade war with China were going well as the world’s two largest economies continued to battle over trade and politics across the world despite heralding a long-awaited truce this month. Trump last week said he hopes that the first phase of a trade deal announced earlier in October will be signed by the middle of next month. “The deal with China’s coming along very well. They want to make a deal,” Trump told reporters before a Cabinet meeting, stressing the toll that U.S. tariffs have taken on the Chinese economy. “They sort of have to make a deal … because their supply chain is going down the tubes.” [ read more … ]

Kudlow: December Tariffs Could Be Removed if U.S.-China Trade Talks Go Well

By Susan Heavey, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday expressed optimism about ongoing U.S.-China trade talks, and said that tariffs scheduled for December could be withdrawn if negotiations continue to go well. The talks, which are expected to continue with calls this week, were “looking pretty good,” Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business Network. [ read more … ]

White House Biofuel Plan

Siouxland ethanol industry reeling from oil refinery exemptions, trade wars

By Mason Dockter,  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

In the face of challenging market conditions, two area plants — Siouxland Energy Cooperative in Sioux Center and Plymouth Energy in Merrill, Iowa — have temporarily shut down, while some others have cut production. Johnson said plants are making “smart decisions for their assets” by slashing or idling production.  Like their counterparts across the country, ethanol producers throughout Siouxland are feeling the pinch of federal Renewable Fuel Standard waivers to oil refineries and trade policies that critics say have shut them out of international markets.  [ read more … ]

Iowa biofuels leaders put pressure on Trump administration

By Rod Boshart, The Gazette Des Moines Bureau  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

With the clock ticking on making changes to a proposed federal renewable fuel rule, Iowa biofuels industry leaders turned up the pressure Wednesday on making the Trump administration live up to the president’s own promise. The industry leaders say they expect President Donald Trump to honor the deal his office struck with them on the federal ethanol mandate, and to reject a proposal unveiled Tuesday by Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency.
[ read more … ]

Corn Board disappointed with new EPA, Trump plans

By ZACH ROTH, The Columbus Telegram  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

It seemed like the reaction from Nebraska farmers and political officials were universally positive when President Donald Trump reached a proposed agreement Oct. 4 on the Renewable Fuels Standard, a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. Fast forward not even two weeks and the Corn Growers’ tune has changed. No longer is there a sense of relief regarding the agreement. Instead, there is frustration and disappointment.

At first, 15 billion gallons worth of conventional ethanol were slated to be a part of the final calculations, a number that made the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association extremely happy. [ read more … ]

Amid impeachment inquiry, Iowa Republicans show support for President Donald Trump

By Barbara Rodriguez, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

Ernst described to about 100 people how she had worked with Iowa leaders to urge the president to restore the market for billions of gallons of renewable fuel waived through small refinery exemptions. The full impact of Trump’s latest deal remains unclear to some farmers in Iowa. Ernst, who is seeking reelection next year, said she spoke to Trump by phone on Friday, hours before the nighttime event at a farming property in Fairfax, located near Cedar Rapids. “I said, ‘I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for working on this ethanol issue for us,'” she recalled. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Exxon’s Climate-Change Accounting Goes on Trial

By Corinne Ramey, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

Exxon Mobil Corp. and New York’s attorney general are headed for a showdown this week over accusations the company deceived investors, a rare trial over how the oil industry accounts for the impact of climate change. The trial, which begins Tuesday in state court in Manhattan, is the culmination of a sprawling investigation into Exxon and its accounting practices that spanned four years and three New York attorneys general. It is expected to include as a witness former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was Exxon’s chief executive from 2006 to 2016. [ read more … ]

New Energy Secretary Fits Trend: Cabinet Dominated by Lobbyists

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

President Trump likes to say that people in his political orbit come straight out of central casting, “tough hombres” from far beyond the Capital Beltway ready to roil the swamp. Increasingly, though, his cabinet is full of lobbyists. On Friday came the latest lobbyist elevation. Out went Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the genial former governor of Texas and onetime Dancing with the Stars contestant. In came his deputy, Dan Brouillette, who spent much of his career as a senior vice president of the United Services Automobile Association, a financial services company, and at the Ford Motor Company. [ read more … ]

Lawmakers to probe transport emissions, fossil fuel companies

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

Energy and Commerce will meet to discuss the largest U.S. source of greenhouse gas emissions: the transportation sector. Specifically, the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change will look at emissions from heavy-duty transportation, such as trains and airplanes. “The free-flowing transportation of people, goods and services is essential to our modern society and economy,” subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and full committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said in a joint statement. [ read more … ]

Editorial

Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

By Editorial Staff, The Gazette  •    •  Posted October 21, 2019

Thumbs Down … to the Trump administration’s ever-confusing handling of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Two weeks ago, we praised what appeared to be a deal to boost biofuel volumes that the industry complained were being suppressed by the flood of refinery exemptions handed out by the Environmental Protection Agency. With biofuel plants shutting down, industry officials have been insisting on a fix. [ read more … ]

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