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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 10, 2019

Top Story

Trade

U.S., Canadian officials converge on Mexico City to seal final changes to trade deal

By David Lawder, Andrea Shalal, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 10, 2019

Senior U.S. and Canadian officials were set to fly to Mexico City on Tuesday to work on the final changes to a languishing North American trade pact that could clear the way for a vote in the U.S. Congress before the end of the year. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday night she expected the final language of the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) to be set by Tuesday, which would bring Democrats to a “moment of truth” on whether to proceed to passage. “We’re close. We’re not quite finished yet, we’re within range,” Pelosi told a forum of chief executives on Monday evening, adding that she was working on the language of separate legislation on how the deal would be implemented. [ read more … ]

Climate Policy

How a closed-door meeting shows farmers are waking up on climate change

By HELENA BOTTEMILLER EVICH, Politico  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

But almost nothing has provoked farmers and ranchers more than New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rollout of the Green New Deal last February. The resolution didn’t actually mention cows or livestock, but a fact sheet posted by Ocasio-Cortez’s office referenced the need to eliminate “farting cows.” Her office later said the document was posted by mistake, but the talking point had already spread like wildfire across news outlets and farm publications. The memes ran wild, as farmers mockingly pointed out that methane, a potent greenhouse gas released by livestock, is actually more of a burping problem. [ read more … ]

Kavanaugh opens door to carbon rule challenge

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

How much authority should federal agencies have in shaping regulations like the Clean Power Plan, and how much of that work should fall to Congress instead? Some legal experts say that question could become a focus for the Supreme Court’s conservative majority now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has signaled interest in reconsidering the scope of agency powers. Court watchers say Kavanaugh’s addition to the bench could open the door to a revival of the long-dormant nondelegation doctrine, which prevents Congress from handing off policy decisions to federal agencies. [ read more … ]

U.S. farm leaders tout role at COP25 meeting

By The Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

U.S. farm leaders under the banner of the North America Climate Smart Agricultural Alliance (NACSAA) are making a series of presentations this week at the Madrid meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), formally known as the Conference of the Parties or COP25, a gathering to establish rules to implement the Paris climate agreement. In a news release, NACSAA said its contingent includes its chairman Fred Yoder, an Ohio farmer; American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser; former California Agriculture and Food Director A.G. Kawamura, and Solutions from the Land President Ernie Shea. [ read more … ]

Move over coal. Gas now top emitter in the U.S.

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

Greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas use now exceed coal emissions in the United States and Europe. And while coal and oil still emit more globally, gas is now the primary driver of emissions growth worldwide. Those findings, reported last week in a study by the Global Carbon Project, add more fuel to an already smoldering debate about the role of natural gas in a carbon-constrained world. They also raise questions about its ability to serve as a “bridge fuel.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Calif. readies first U.S. plan for zero-emissions trucks

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

California regulators are thinking of doing for delivery vans and tractor-trailers what they’ve already done for light-duty cars — create a market for zero-emissions vehicles — and there are early signs that other states could follow suit. fficials on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a hearing Dec. 12 on a draft rule that would impose the first zero-emissions sales requirements on truck manufacturers. The agency unveiled the proposal in late October, following three years of research and public outreach. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Trump says U.S. will finalize new fuel efficiency rules next year

By David Shepardson, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that his administration will finalize its rollback of Obama-era vehicle emissions standards next year and expected it would provoke a new legal challenge by California. The administration had signaled in recent months it could finalize its proposed revisions to the requirements before the end of 2019. The administration has argued that the rollbacks are necessary for economic and safety reasons but California and environmentalists reject that analysis, saying consumers would spend hundreds of billions more in fuel costs. [ read more … ]

2020

Six Democratic presidential candidates vow to help farmers, battered by low prices, trade disputes

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

Six Democratic presidential candidates vowed Friday to help struggling rural communities and the farmers on whom they rely. Iowa farmers have been battered by ongoing trade disputes, mega-mergers that have shrunk suppliers, and a dwindling piece of the consumer dollar.

“Farmers are being squeezed on all sides — squeezed by consolidation, giving folks fewer and fewer places to buy from … and squeezed by a trade war that no one here asked for,” Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told members of the Iowa Farmers Union, which held its annual meeting in Grinnell. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Democratic state attorneys general celebrate 300 actions against Trump rollbacks

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted December 9, 2019

Democratic attorneys general so far have been successful in court, with judges finding the Trump administration has not always followed proper legal procedures and laws to unwind regulations and has failed to justify its actions with science-based facts, as required by the Administrative Procedures Act. Out of 28 environmental cases tracked by the NYU Institute for Policy Integrity, for example, the administration has won once.
[ read more … ]

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