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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 5, 2019

Top Story

Ethanol could be a ‘bridge’ toward transport electrification, US farmers say

By Sarantis Michalopoulos, EURACTIV.com  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

Until electrification of transport is fully in place, ethanol could be used as a “bridge” to make fuels cleaner, US farmers told EURACTIV.com on the sidelines of the COP25 in Madrid. “In the US, there are only 250,000 electric cars manufactured, their resale is not doing well and there are lots of questions about the battery. They’ll keep getting better and better, but as a bridge to get to them, let’s use ethanol to make our fuels cleaner and better,” Fred Yoder, a farmer and chair of North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance said. “We can improve right now our gasoline in our emissions with ethanol. But we need to get the message here at COP25,” Yoder added. [ read more … ]

Trade

China maintains tariffs must be reduced for phase one trade deal with U.S

By Gabriel Crossley and Yawen Chen, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 5, 2019

China warned on Wednesday that U.S. legislation calling for a tougher response to Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang will affect bilateral cooperation. But “there is no need to panic,” as talks did not stop, a Chinese source who advises Beijing on the trade talks told Reuters on Wednesday. “Both leaders have talked about reaching a deal, and officials are now finishing the work,” said the source, who thought it unlikely China would retaliate against U.S. legislation by releasing its so-called “unreliable entities list” aimed at punishing firms deemed harmful to Chinese interests. [ read more … ]

Trump’s $28 Billion Trade War Bailout Is Overpaying Farmers

By Mike Dorning, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

“It’s clear that the payment rates overstated the damage suffered by soybean growers,” said Joseph Glauber, the USDA’s former chief economist who published a review of the research in late November. “Based on what the studies show, the damages were about half that.” The divergence doesn’t necessarily mean a bonanza for American farmers, who are being financially squeezed on other fronts, including a global commodity glut that is depressing prices and a year of wild weather that is damaging crop yields. Also, the trade conflict risks long-term loss of market share for U.S. producers as overseas customers build relationships with replacement suppliers. Neither the academic nor the USDA estimates take potential future market losses into account. [ read more … ]

RVO/Supp Proposed Rules

Larry Kudlow Honing Latest Plan to Buttress Biofuel Mandates

By Jennifer Jacobs , Jennifer A Dlouhy , and Mario Parker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 5, 2019

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow is working to hone the Trump administration’s plan for bolstering biofuel-blending requirements after ethanol allies in politically important farm states complained the current proposal doesn’t do enough to compensate for waivers exempting some small refineries from the mandates. Kudlow’s involvement was described by five people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the administration’s private deliberations. The effort comes after biofuel producers, corn farmers and Midwest politicians blasted the Environmental Protection Agency’s current approach as inadequate, saying it flouted the terms of an Oct. 1 agreement to raise biofuel-blending requirements enough to fully offset refinery exemptions. [ read more … ]

Ethanol no longer a third rail in Iowa

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

Sen. Chuck Grassley is pressing the Trump administration harder than anyone to side with farmers on biofuels policy. But if the president doesn’t, he said, the political stakes might not be all that high. “I’d say there’s a price to be paid but not as big as it would have been 10 or 15 years ago,” Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters on a conference call. “It would be offset to a considerable degree if the economy remains about the same as it is.” [ read more … ]

EPA Targeting Dec. 20 Release of Final 2020 Renewable Fuel Volumes

By Jordan Godwin, Platts  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

EPA is targeting a Dec. 20 release of its final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule, agency officials have told biofuel industry representatives. The Dec. 20 target would land on the Friday before Christmas and come three weeks after the comment period closed on a supplemental rulemaking the agency released in mid-October. The agency is required under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) statute to release annual renewable fuel blending targets by Nov. 30 of the previous year but has missed that deadline in the past.
[ read more … ]

Car Rule

Feds ask court to toss lawsuit over Trump’s move in Calif.

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

Federal attorneys want a court to scrap or change the venue for lawsuits challenging a move by the Trump administration to block California from setting its own tailpipe emissions standards. In a filing yesterday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Justice Department attorneys asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, to either dismiss the challenges or transfer the cases to a federal appeals court.
[ read more … ]

Audi exec brushes off Trump’s rollback

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

“Regardless of what happens with the rollback or not, we at Audi and Volkswagen are going to continue to improve our fuel economy,” said Spencer Reeder, director of government affairs with Audi of America. “Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, has been very explicit about our support for the Paris Agreement on climate change. We are committed to year-over-year reductions in CO2 emissions from our vehicle fleets,” Reeder said at a transportation and infrastructure summit in Washington, D.C., sponsored by The Atlantic.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Reynolds requires all new state diesel vehicles to use fuel at least 20% biodiesel

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Siouxland Energy Cooperative board of directors chairman, talks about the decision to halt ethanol production after RFS waivers caused a major reduction in demand. Gov. Kim Reynolds gave a boost Tuesday to Iowa’s renewable fuels industry, requiring that all new state-owned diesel-powered vehicles — from cars and trucks to snowplows and graders — be able to use at least 20% biodiesel. Reynolds signed the executive order at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Des Moines. [ read more … ]

It’s possible that Trump doesn’t actually know what climate change is

By Philip Bump, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 4, 2019

See if you can spot the problem in comments President Trump made about climate change during a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, after The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker asked whether he was thinking about climate change. “I think about it all the time, Phil. And, honestly, climate change is very important to me,” Trump replied. “And, you know, I’ve done many environmental impact statements over my life, and I believe very strongly in very, very crystal clear, clean water and clean air. That’s a big part of climate change.” [ read more … ]

 

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