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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 19, 2019

Top Story

ISU report: Iowa farm finances continue to erode, with 44% of growers struggling to cover costs

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

Despite President Trump’s agriculture bailouts, Iowa farmers continue to see their financial condition erode, a cash crunch that had 44% of producers last year struggling to cover their bills, an Iowa State University report shows. The percentage of financially vulnerable farmers climbed from 31% in 2014, according to the report that examines growers’ ability to cover short-term liabilities such as seed, fertilizer and herbicides with easily accessible assets such as cash, stored grain and market-ready livestock.
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MFP Payments Coming Before Thanksgiving

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

The Trump administration announced a second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments on Friday. According to a USDA news release, payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. MFP for 2019 is providing $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, meaning the second tranche will be for about $7.8 billion. Under MFP2, USDA so far has paid out $6.69 billion to 564,181 producers. USDA reports the top five states for payments are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The 2018 MFP paid out $8.6 billion to more than 1 million farmers. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Wheeler devised attacks on Calif. years ago with Inhofe

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

President Trump isn’t the first boss Andrew Wheeler has helped battle California on the environment. More than a decade before he would lead this autumn’s siege against California’s regulatory authorities, Wheeler helped Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) score political points against the Golden State on the same set of issues. He was Inhofe’s staff director on the Environment and Public Works Committee at the time.
Inhofe, a staunch anti-regulatory crusader, has for years recounted California’s failings — especially its struggle with national ozone limits — when attacking environmental policies backed by the progressive state and its representatives in Washington. [ read more … ]

The ‘Go see Ryan’ approach to lobbying EPA

By Mike Soraghan, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

“What can we do to help?” Jackson asked. Jackson’s can-do, will-fix attitude shows through in numerous messages with industry lobbyists. Thousands of pages of emails released under the Freedom of Information Act show his inbox was flooded with chummy notes from lobbyists, many of whom he’d worked with on Capitol Hill. And he played the role of ombudsman, willing to lend a sympathetic ear. [ read more … ]

Moniz to headline packed day of hearings

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will headline a packed slate of climate change hearings Wednesday, as House Democrats continue the long slog to workshop ideas for climate policy. Moniz will testify at a House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee hearing examining the Department of Energy’s role in combating climate change, an area of bipartisan interest in recent months.
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Care Rule

Calif. punches back at companies supporting Trump

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

California state agencies will stop buying cars from companies that support President Trump’s attack on state clean car standards, officials announced Friday. The move marks the latest escalation in the battle between California and the White House over the climate rules for cars. The decision affects General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Toyota Motor Corp. and 10 other major automakers.
Those companies sided with the Trump administration last month in the legal fight over California’s ability to set vehicle emissions standards that are tougher than those of the federal government [ read more … ]


Ford Wants to Sell You an Electric S.U.V. It’s Called a Mustang.

By Neal E. Boudette, Mew York Times  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

Ford Motor’s latest offering seems like an oxymoron twice over: It’s a sport utility vehicle that’s electric … that’s a Mustang. It’s also Detroit’s biggest bet yet on a mass-market future for battery-powered cars.
The big automakers have been producing hybrid and fully electric vehicles for years. But almost all have been smaller models that found limited demand. Even the manufacturers often referred to them as “compliance cars” — built to help meet environmental regulations while they mainly turned out big internal-combustion vehicles that sold well and made hefty profits. [ read more … ]


California and Nevada Ask: Iowa Who?

By Jennifer Medina, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

Want to understand Iowa’s outsize role in selecting the Democratic presidential nominee? Just come to the West, where anyone in Nevada or California will tell you: We are the voters presidential candidates should be paying more attention to. Nevada will be the third state to vote in 2020, with its caucus coming just 11 days after the New Hampshire primary. And voters in California, which sends 495 delegates to the national convention, will start casting early ballots in the Democratic primary soon after the Iowa caucuses begin. [ read more … ]

Struggling Farmers Are Key to Trump’s Hopes in Minnesota

By Kris Maher and Photographs by Tim Gruber, The Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

In Minnesota, trade tensions are testing farmers’ loyalty to the president as many are still reeling from a late, messy harvest. Yields are down, and farmers are storing as much grain as possible, hoping they can sell when prices rise. With snow on the fields, some have yet to bring in all their crops. Mr. Trump lost Minnesota in 2016 by fewer than 45,000 votes, or 1.5 percentage points, and he is making a big push for the state in 2020. A recent state poll shows him trailing Democrats in hypothetical matchups by roughly the same margins as some national polls, and no GOP presidential candidate has won the state since Richard Nixon in 1972. But Democrats say they expect a tight race. [ read more … ]

Reid: Iowa, NH not diverse enough to provide Dems’ guidance

By By MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press  •    •  Posted November 18, 2019

Iowa and New Hampshire get to weigh in first on the Democratic presidential contest next year, but the states are not ethnically diverse enough to offer any insight into how a candidate will fare across the country, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday. “I don’t think it matters what happens in Iowa or New Hampshire because those states are not representative of the country anymore,” the longtime Nevada senator said.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.