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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 24, 2019

Top Story

Trump promotes pulling U.S. from Paris climate accord in speech touting ‘America First’

By Timothy Gardner, Valerie Volcovici and Alexandra Alper, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 24, 2019

President Donald Trump on Wednesday affirmed plans to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, less than two weeks before his administration can formally start the process. At an energy conference in Pittsburgh, Trump touted surging U.S. natural gas and crude oil output, his efforts to roll back regulations on energy industries, and his administration’s intention to pull the United States from the 2015 international climate agreement. [ read more … ]

Trump Administration to Begin Official Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

The Trump administration is preparing the formal withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to three people briefed on the matter, a long expected move that nevertheless remains a powerful signal to the world. The official action sets in motion a withdrawal that still would take a year to complete under the rules of the accord. Abandoning the landmark 2015 agreement in which nearly 200 nations vowed to reduce planet-warming emissions would fulfill one of President Trump’s key campaign promises while placing the world’s largest economy at odds with the rest of the globe on a top international policy priority.
[ read more … ]

White House Biofuel Plan


Groups Sue EPA on Small-Refinery Waiver

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

Biofuels and agriculture groups have filed a legal challenge against EPA’s approval of 31 additional small-refinery exemptions in August. Groups filed a court petition on Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Danielle Y. Jones, senior policy adviser for international regulatory cooperation at the OMB wrote in an Oct. 9 email to EPA officials: “We do not agree with the inclusion of the alternative as drafted. We believe there is no rationale for using older data and the alternative is inconsistent with the WH decision last week to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020.”
[ read more … ]

New Court Documents Detail Rampant EPA Abuse of Small Refinery Exemption Program

By Ken Colombini, Renewable Fuels Association  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

Newly available court documents assert that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inappropriately granted Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance exemptions to certain small refineries that did not even qualify for the waivers, and that there was division within the Trump administration about its new approach to small refinery hardship exemption requests. Specifically, the briefs and supporting documents show EPA granted disproportionate economic hardship exemptions to small refineries whose previous exemptions had fully lapsed, meaning the Agency disregarded the requirement that refiners may only obtain an “extension” of an existing exemption. [ read more … ]

Biofuel groups file petition challenging Trump administration’s small-refinery waivers

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

Biofuels groups have filed a petition in the U.S. court of appeals in Washington against the Environmental Protection Agency, challenging the agency’s process for granting refineries exemptions to the nation’s biofuel blending mandates, the groups said Wednesday. The petition challenges the EPA’s process for granting waivers to 31 oil refineries for 2018. [ read more … ]

Advocates file suit over EPA refinery exemptions

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

In their petition, the groups said that EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, Anne Idsal, signed the exemptions decision Aug. 9 but that the decision wasn’t published in the Federal Register. It “remained a secret” until the agency disclosed it in a Dec. 19 filing in a lawsuit related to the renewable fuel standard. The groups said EPA’s decision document was just two pages long, shorter than in previous years’ exemptions, and offered little detail about the agency’s reasoning. Exemptions are granted to small refineries that demonstrate an economic hardship if they’re held to the fuel blending requirement. [ read more … ]


China Willing to Buy $20 Billion of U.S. Farm Goods in Year One

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted October 24, 2019

China aims to buy at least $20 billion of agricultural products in a year if it signs a partial trade deal with the U.S., and would consider boosting purchases further in future rounds of talks, people familiar with the matter said. The $20 billion would take its imports of U.S. farm goods back to around the level in 2017, before the U.S. began imposing tariffs. In the second year of a potential final deal when all punitive tariffs are removed, those purchases could rise to $40-$50 billion, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing the private talks. The people did not say when the first year would start or when China would start counting agricultural imports toward the $20 billion. [ read more … ]

Tariffs, trade tensions threaten growth in key US ethanol markets

By Ben Nuelle, AgriPulse  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

Global demand for U.S. ethanol has grown substantially over the last decade, but ongoing trade tensions, policy enforcement and changing markets could set up potential roadblocks for the industry to keep growing in the years ahead. U.S. ethanol exports across the globe grew from 158 million gallons in 2008 to a record 1.7 billion gallons last year, according to a 2018 Renewable Fuels Association report.
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Fossil Fuels on Trial: New York’s Lawsuit Against Exxon Begins

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

After four years of legal sparring and finger-pointing, oil-industry giant Exxon Mobil went to court on Tuesday to face charges that the company lied to shareholders and to the public about the costs and consequences of climate change. The case turns on the claim that Exxon kept a secret set of financial books that seriously underestimated the costs of potential climate change regulation while claiming publicly that it was taking such factors into account. It follows a sprawling investigation that included millions of pages of documents and allegations of a chief executive’s secret email account.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

$2.3 million DOE grant to advance ethanol fuel research

By Purdue University  •    •  Posted October 23, 2019

Imagine trying to quickly turn a damp piece of plywood into a liquid and squeezing it through several small openings. That’s essentially the challenge facing biorefineries trying to turn corn waste and related materials into ethanol fuel. A big challenge in biomass processing, such as turning waste into ethanol fuel, is the difficulty in moving the biomass to, within and through the equipment needed to physically and chemically treat the biomass as part of the fuel production process. [ read more … ]

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