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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 13, 2019

Top Story

E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking. A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would require that scientists disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before the agency could consider an academic study’s conclusions. E.P.A. officials called the plan a step toward transparency and said the disclosure of raw data would allow conclusions to be verified independently. [ read more … ]

SREs

Court rules for EPA on refinery exemptions, chastises method

By Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

“To be sure,” the court said, “the EPA’s briefing and oral argument paint a troubling picture of intentionally shrouded and hidden agency law that could have left those aggrieved by the agency’s actions without a viable avenue for judicial review.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Advanced Biofuels Association had not properly identified a final agency action in its case and thus was barred from legal recourse. [ read more … ]

South Dakota officials urge EPA to follow President Donald Trump’s ethanol plan

By Lisa Kaczke, Argus Leader)  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

South Dakota’s elected officials are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that 15 billion gallons of ethanol is annually blended into the country’s fuel supply. Gov. Kristi Noem, U.S. Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson are concerned that the EPA’s proposed blending rule for 2020 doesn’t follow President Donald Trump’s directive to restore the billions of ethanol gallons lost when the EPA exempted oil refineries from the mandate of 15 billion gallons set by Congress, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. [ read more … ]

Climate

Corn flowing into ethanol plants as harvest struggles continue

By Jenny Schlecht, Forum News Service  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

David Freeman, merchandiser at Dakota Spirit Ag Energy, owned by Midwest Ag Energy, says conditions in the 30-40 mile radius from which the plant typically buys corn have been as wet as anyone has seen in at least a decade. Stutsman County, where the plant is located, in October declared an emergency because of flooding. High water is common throughout the region. “It’s been a pretty big struggle,” Freeman says about finding corn for the plant.
[ read more … ]

Midwest harvest takes a hit from damaging spring floods

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

Lingering effects from last spring’s flooding are taking a bite from Midwest harvests. Agriculture Department statistics show several Midwestern states are well behind long-term averages for the progress of the corn harvest, and yields appear disappointing so far, said Jenny Rees, an educator with the Nebraska Extension. [ read more … ]

EVs

China plunges into luxury EV market with Polestar

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

A Chinese automaker has unveiled the nation’s first global sales campaign for an electric car: the Polestar 2. It’s a five-door hatchback that is “designed to compete around Tesla Model 3,” according to an advertisement yesterday in The New York Times. The announcement came as Tesla Inc. prepares to produce its first Model 3 in its new Gigafactory in Shanghai. Both carmakers describe their models as being among the “most affordable” EVs, although the initial price for the Polestar 2 could range as high as $65,000, according to industry sources. Tesla has described the base price for its Model 3 as being below $40,000. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Costly retrofits, state rules keeping E15 gas from making it to many stations

By Byron Hurd, Green Car Reports  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

E15 gasoline blends are widely available in states such as Iowa and Minnesota, but virtually non-existent in most of the rest of the country. The fuel itself is less expensive than blends containing less ethanol, but its adoption is being stymied by a combination of prohibitive state laws, consumer push-back and the costs of preparing a station to dispense the fuel. [ read more … ]

Trump admin advances high-impact ‘secret science’ rule

By Kelsey Brugger, Sean Reilly and Ariel Wittenberg, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

The Trump EPA appears to be doubling down on its proposal to limit scientific research used in rulemakings — a plan that could have far-reaching implications for agency regulations. Simply put, the plan would require that EPA use only publicly available data when crafting regulations. Critics are blasting the effort to limit use of science in a wide range of EPA regulations affecting the environment and public health. [ read more … ]

House Ag Committee Mostly on Solid Ground in Reelection

By Jerry Hagstrom, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted November 12, 2019

One year from the 2020 general election, more than half of the Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee are facing less-than-“solid” chances of retaining their seats, but the Democrats appear on the path to retain their majority in the House, according to David Wasserman, the House analyst for The Cook Political Report. Of the committee’s 25 Democratic members representing districts in the 50 states, 14 are facing races that the Cook Report ranks as less than “solid,” and nine of those races could favor the Republican, per the Cook Partisan Voter Index (PVI). The index measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole.
[ read more … ]

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