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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 25, 2019

Top Story

Governors Ask President Trump to Remove Gasoline’s Deadly Aromatics

By Larry Pearce, Governors’ Biofuels Coalition  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

In a letter to President Trump today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem asked him to enforce a provision of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from gasoline.  This requirement has been largely ignored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for decades.  “This is unacceptable,” the governors told the President.  Governor Walz and Governor Noem are the chair and vice chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. “President Trump should order EPA to obey Congress’s long-neglected directive to reduce the toxic compounds in gasoline.  By replacing aromatics with cleaner alternatives, the nation will be on the right path to cleaner-burning, less costly fuel.  Any other approach is the wrong policy for America,” the governors said. [ read more … ]

Trade

China and U.S. ‘very close’ to phase one trade deal: Global Times

By Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Tony Munroe in Beijing, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 25, 2019

China and the United States are ‘very close’ to a phase one trade deal, the Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said on Monday, discounting “negative” media reports. China also remains committed to continuing talks for a phase two or even a phase three deal with the United States, the state-backed Global Times said on its Twitter feed, citing experts close to the Chinese government. On Saturday, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said an initial trade deal with China was still possible by the end of the year. He warned that Washington would not turn a blind eye to what happens in Hong Kong, but also said it would be “a good sign” if the elections took place without violence. [ read more … ]

Proposed Supplemental Rule

White House asks Iowa senator for input on biofuels policy: sources

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

According to the sources, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow asked Republican Grassley’s office this week for an explanation of how the EPA’s use of the so-called Small Refinery Exemptions negatively impacts the ethanol industry, and how the administration’s proposal fails to provide relief. Grassley’s office responded to the questions on Thursday, the sources said. The sources did not share the details of the response. The White House declined to comment. It remains unclear whether the administration has any intention of adjusting the plan at this late stage. Kudlow’s request comes after Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, another Republican and biofuels advocate, spoke multiple times with Trump on the issue in the last month.

Terry Branstad, U.S. ambassador to China and former governor of Iowa, has also met with Kudlow and Trump this week, according to two additional sources familiar with the matter. [ read more … ]

Another skirmish in the RFS fight

By Paul Yeager, Iowa Public Television  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

Sen. Charles Grassley, R- Iowa: “I expect to be carried out what we agreed to in the Oval Office on September the 12th. He can adjust his rules, according to the public comment, and I hope he gets thousands of farmers in Iowa and biofuel people and anybody else that wants to comment that we expect September 12 agreement in the Oval Office to be carried out in spirit as well as in word in the new regulation going out.” [ read more … ]

5 SRE applications filed for 2019, 2 declared ineligible for 2018

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

he U.S. EPA posted updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data to its website on Nov. 21 showing that five new SRE applications have been filed for compliance year 2019 and two SRE petitions previously filed for compliance year 2018 have been declared ineligible. According to the EPA, 10 SRE petitions for compliance year 2019 have now been filed. All 10 are still pending.
[ read more … ]

Car Rule

Greens sue EPA to keep Calif. waiver

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

A coalition of environmental advocacy groups have launched another legal battle over EPA’s move to block California from setting its own vehicle emission rules. The lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, follows a multistate challenge to stop the Trump administration from rescinding a waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows the Golden State to set stricter greenhouse gas and zero-emissions vehicle standards than those imposed by the federal government.
“Getting rid of clean car standards when air pollution is on the rise is dumb, and in our view, unlawful,” said Doug Phelps, ch [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Green-tinged extenders package ‘not even in doubt’

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

End-of-year energy tax negotiations have taken on a more upbeat tone in recent days, with top tax writers from both parties expressing growing confidence a deal to extend expired energy tax breaks and expand a few existing clean energy credits can be struck in the coming weeks. Following what he called a “fruitful” Wednesday meeting with Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said he was optimistic that an agreement to revive and extend an assortment of lapsed energy tax breaks is within reach. Both parties are trying to keep a year-end extenders deal focused so it doesn’t collapse under its own weight, but lawmakers and lobbyists are signaling that provisions from the “Green Act” that are in play include: A multiyear extension and phaseout of the biodiesel tax credit. [ read more … ]

Shadows of Twilight Darken the Age of Cellulosic Ethanol

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

“Tremendous harm has been done,” said POET spokesman Kyle Gilley. “Over the last three years, EPA management of the RFS has held back cellulosic ethanol advancement, hindered future agricultural markets for U.S. farmers, and undermined what the president has promised.” Biofuels groups regard President Trump, who campaigned as a friend of ethanol, as their champion in their struggles with the EPA. [ read more … ]

Airlines get ready for jet biofuel take-off in Norway

By Reuters  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

Airlines are confident of having sufficient supplies of biofuel-infused jet fuel to comply with a Norway requirement which takes effect next year, although they warn of additional costs. From January, jet fuel suppliers in Norway must blend 0.5% of biofuel in all their aviation fuel, a policy Oslo hopes will boost supply and demand and lead to lower CO2 emissions. Although aviation biofuel suppliers say it can cut the carbon footprint of airlines by up to 80%, it costs four times as much as normal jet fuel, which has so far curtailed usage and therefore demand for increased production. [ read more … ]

2020

One Country Tracking The Rural Political Chatter On Social Media

By Josh Cook, Iowa Starting Line  •    •  Posted November 24, 2019

Are the impeachment hearings moving many rural voters’ opinion of President Donald Trump? Short answer: they’re sort of not. Anti-impeachment sentiment has actually gotten stronger amongst rural voters in swing states over the last couple of months. [ read more … ]

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