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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 2, 2019

Top Story

Unharvested Corn Is Latest Blow From Wild U.S. Growing Season

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

Heavy snow in parts of the northern U.S. could prevent some farmers from harvesting the rest of their corn and soybeans until 2020 in the latest weather-related blow to growers. Flooding from torrential rains delayed spring seeding and prompted record amounts of acres to go unplanted. As of Sunday, the U.S. corn harvest was just 84% completed, the slowest rate in a decade. If crops are abandoned in fields until the spring, that’s likely to further tighten supplies at a time when cash prices are already on the rise. [ read more … ]

Trade

China wants U.S. tariffs rolled back in phase one trade deal: Global Times

By Se Young Lee and Lusha Zhang, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

Beijing is insisting U.S. tariffs must be rolled back as part of any phase one trade deal with Washington, China’s Global Times newspaper said on Sunday citing unnamed sources, amid continued uncertainty on whether the two sides can strike a deal. “A US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 cannot replace the rollbacks of tariffs,” the newspaper said in a tweet, referring to an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports to be implemented in the absence of a trade deal. [ read more … ]

Deere warns of lower profits in 2020 on lingering trade tensions

By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

Deere & Co. on Wednesday warned of lower earnings next year after reporting a fall in quarterly profits, hurt by trade tensions as well as poor weather in the U.S. farm belt that has slowed equipment purchases by farmers. In response to an “uncertain” business environment, the company announced a voluntary separation program for its salary employees, which is estimated to cost it about $140 million next year, but is projected to contribute to annual savings of $150 million. [ read more … ]

Response to Governors’ Aromatics Letter to President Trump

Walz calls on Trump Administration to enforce Clean Air Act, remove deadly gasoline aromatics

By DL-Online  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

Section 202 was included in the landmark Clean Air Act amendments passed by Congress in 1990, directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce dangerous chemical additives in gasoline.
This amendment has yet to be enforced, despite the development of a variety of cost-effective substitutes including high-octane biofuels, according to a news release from the governor’s office. “President Trump should order EPA to obey Congress’s long-neglected directive to reduce the toxic compounds in gasoline,” the governors said. “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.” [ read more … ]

Governors’ Biofuels Coalition sends letter to President Trump asking for higher ethanol blends

By Biofuels Digest  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

In Washington, a letter to President Trump, 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.  [ read more … ]

S Dakota, Minnesota governors ask Trump to direct EPA to reduce toxic aromatics in gasoline

By Green Car Congress  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Chair of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition, and Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem senta joint letter to President Trump requesting that he direct the EPA to enforce Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from gasoline. Section 202 was included in the landmark Clean Air Act amendments passed by Congress in 1990, directing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce dangerous chemical additives in gasoline. This amendment has yet to be enforced, despite the development of a variety of cost-effective substitutes including high-octane biofuels. [ read more … ]

Let’s Clear the Air…

By BIO Technology  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

This is what we’ve been saying. “Continued growth of advanced and cellulosic biofuels will reduce harmful compounds in transportation fuel, improving air quality and human health,” we said in recent testimony on Capitol Hill. “Supporting development and deployment of these technologies enable the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector to the benefit of economy, human health, and the environment.” And it’s why we’ll continue to fight for the RFS and ensure the U.S. biofuels industry can thrive, creating good jobs across America and helping to clean up the air. [ read more … ]

RFS

EPA not expected to reach statutory Nov. 30 RFS deadline

By Spencer Chase, AgriPulse  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

No matter the criticisms biofuel groups had about the job performance of Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler as EPA administrator, they could all agree on one thing: under their leadership, annual biofuel volume targets were always published on time. That won’t happen this year. [ read more … ]

Gov. Ricketts Submits Comment to EPA, Calls on Agency to Fulfill RFS Promise

By KTIC Radio  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

“A strong biofuels market is essential at this time when farmers and biofuels producers are navigating the continued cyclical downturn in agriculture, combined with record weather-related challenges and ongoing impacts to the industry from trade uncertainty,” wrote Gov. Ricketts.  “We need to have confidence in the EPA and White House that the RFS will guarantee at least a net 15 billion gallons of ethanol demand for compliance year 2020 as soon as possible.” [ read more … ]

Grassley: Trump’s Oval Office promises need action

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

The Senate’s top advocate for ethanol said that President Trump reiterated his support for biofuels in an Oval Office meeting last week but that the Trump administration’s rhetoric on the issue is a “broken record” that has yet to match its policies. “There’s a great amount of legitimate doubt on the part of farmers” as EPA closes in on potential changes to the renewable fuel standard, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.). The proposal aims to maintain biofuel mandates while allowing small refineries a way out of the requirements on an annual basis. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Trump gains allies in his fight with Calif.

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

A group of 13 states yesterday stepped into the clean cars fight on the side of the Trump administration, throwing their weight behind a proposal that would scrap California’s ability to set its own tailpipe emission standards. The states’ motion to intervene — filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — claims that California’s waiver and its role in setting auto standards nationwide unlawfully puts the Golden State on a pedestal.Led by Ohio and joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia, the states filed their motion to intervene in the recently consolidated D.C. Circuit case brought by other states, environmental groups and local air regulators against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. [ read more … ]

EVs

The world may have seen its peak demand for gas-powered vehicles

By Ben Geman, Axios  •    •  Posted December 1, 2019

“Sales of gasoline powered vehicles will continue to fall due to the strong growth and now competitive viability of electric vehicles,” the report predicts. EVs are just a tiny share of vehicle sales right now.
But the analysis notes they have momentum, with sales of plug-in hybrids and full electrics combined growing fourfold since 2015 to reach an estimated 433,000 this year. Nevertheless, it calls for policy measures that would speed up adoption of EVs, including incentives for re-tooling manufacturing plants to produce new models. [ read more … ]

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