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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 26, 2019

Today’s Biofuels News will not publish during the Thanksgiving holiday.  It resumes on Monday, December 2.

Top Story

World Powers Vowed to Cut Greenhouse Gases. They’re Still Rising Perilously.

By Somini Sengupta, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 26, 2019

Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year. “The summary findings are bleak,” the report said, because countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions even after repeated warnings from scientists. The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.” [ read more … ]

In bleak report, U.N. says drastic action is only way to avoid worst effects of climate change

By Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted November 26, 2019

The world has squandered so much time mustering the action necessary to combat climate change that rapid, unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions offer the only hope of averting an ever-intensifying cascade of consequences, according to new findings from the United Nations. Already, the past year has brought devastating hurricanes, relentless wildfires and crippling heat waves, prompting millions of protesters to take to the streets to demand more attention to a problem that seems increasingly urgent. [ read more … ]

Trade

China, U.S. Hold Phone Call in Sign of Progress on Phase 1 Deal

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted November 26, 2019

China and the U.S. “reached consensus on properly resolving relevant issues” and agreed to stay in contact on the remaining points for a “phase one” trade deal during a phone call Tuesday morning Beijing time, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed core concerns, according to the statement, which didn’t provide further details. It follows a phone conversation earlier this month that the ministry called “constructive.” [ read more … ]

Governors’ Aromatics Letter Response

Replacing Aromatics with Biofuels Would Improve Public Health Outcomes, Decrease Fuel Costs

By Hannah Packman, National Farmers Union  •    •  Posted November 26, 2019

“There are so many reasons to use biofuels: they improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower pump prices, develop new markets for American farm products, create good jobs rural Americans, stimulate local economies, and establish energy independence. Aromatics, on the other hand, are highly toxic, expensive, carbon intensive, and energy inefficient. We applaud Governors Walz and Noem’s efforts to replace aromatics with biofuels, and we strongly urge the Trump administration to follow suit.” [ read more … ]

Governors urge Trump to remove gasoline’s deadly aromatics

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted November 26, 2019

Leaders of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition sent a letter to President Trump on Nov. 25 requesting that he urge the U.S. EPA to enforce a provision of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from gasoline. “Now, nearly 30 year later, the average gallon of gasoline is composed of nearly 30 percent toxic aromatics in order to increase octane required by today’s engines,” Walz and Noem wrote. “As oil prices have risen, aromatic costs have followed, with consumers paying the price. Aromatics are the most expensive, least energy efficient, and most carbon intensive and toxic part of gasoline. Scientific advances have confirmed that aromatics are the primary contributor to urban particulate matter—specifically aromatic aerosols, and nano-sized ultra-fine particulates coated with toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—the product of the incomplete combustion of aromatics.” [ read more … ]

SD Farmers Union Applauds Governor Noem-Led Effort to Reduce Toxics in Gasoline

By Karla Hofhenke, South Dakota Farmers Union  •    •  Posted November 25, 2019

In a letter to President Trump calling for the reduction of toxics in gasoline, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem joined Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in urging the President to have Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforce existing law that would protect public health and potentially increase ethanol demand.  Walz and Noem are the Chair and Vice Chair of the Governors’ Biofuel Coalition, with Governor Noem taking over as Chair in February 2020. They cited a 30-year-old provision in the Clean Air Act Amendments requiring the U.S. EPA to reduce the aromatic compounds in gasoline. These compounds include known and suspected carcinogens such as benzene which are used to increase octane. [ read more … ]

Governors’ Biofuels Coalition Takes Aim at Gasoline Aromatics

By Cindy Zimmerman, Energy. Agwired  •    •  Posted November 25, 2019

The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition is asking President Trump to take action on removing toxic aromatics from gasoline. In a letter to President Trump, coalition chair and vice chair 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. “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 … ]

UAI Applauds Governors Call to Reduce Toxics in Gasoline

By Urban Air Initative,  •    •  Posted November 25, 2019

Urban Air Initiative (UAI) President Dave VanderGriend said the Governors’ Biofuel Coalition’s call to reduce toxic aromatics is a long overdue step towards cleaner air. In a letter to President Trump calling for the reduction of toxics in gasoline, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem cited a provision in the Clean Air Act requiring such reductions. Yet 30 years after the passage of the Clean Air Act, the average gallon of gasoline contains nearly 30% toxic aromatics including benzene and other known carcinogens and toxics. [ read more … ]

Opinion

Midlands Voices: Promises made. Promises kept?

By Dan Nerud and David Bruntz, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted November 25, 2019

 The president backed that talk up a few weeks later by reaching a deal with our ethanol champions in Congress to fix this mess and uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA just needed to finalize it. And just as Lucy always does to Charlie Brown, EPA pulled the football away once more by changing key elements of the agreement. Farmers saw what EPA did to ethanol, and, needless to say, we aren’t very happy. [ read more … ]

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