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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 8, 2020

Top Story

Trade

Senate Committee Advances USMCA

By Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

Taking another step to completing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Senate Finance Committee voted 25-3 on Tuesday to advance the trade deal to the full Senate. USMCA has been a priority for most agricultural groups as a way to provide some certainty on tariffs and trade with two of the country’s largest buyers of agricultural commodities. After nearly a year of negotiating between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, the trade deal passed the House on a 385-41 vote last month. [ read more … ]

China won’t hike grain import quotas for U.S. trade deal: Caixin

By Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

China will not increase its annual low-tariff import quotas for corn, wheat and rice to accommodate stepped-up purchases of farm goods from the United States, local media group Caixin quoted senior agriculture official Han Jun as saying on Tuesday. The report underlines China’s desire to protect its farmers at a time when it is under pressure to buy billions of dollars more of U.S. agricultural goods to calm a prolonged trade war, although its grain imports have been well below quota levels in recent years. [ read more … ]

China won’t hike grain import quotas for U.S. trade deal: Caixin

By Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu in Beijing, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 8, 2020

China will not increase its annual low-tariff import quotas for corn, wheat and rice to accommodate stepped-up purchases of farm goods from the United States, senior agriculture official Han Jun said on Tuesday, according to local media group Caixin. The move could make it harder for Beijing to meet import commitments in a Phase 1 trade deal due to be signed next week. U.S. President Donald Trump said last month the agreement would likely double China’s $24 billion in pre-trade war purchases to $40-$50 billion annually.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

SIRE repurchases Bunge’s stake in Iowa ethanol plant

By Ethanol Producers Magazine  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC and Bunge North America LLC announced that SIRE repurchased Bunge’s Series B membership units effective Dec. 31, 2019. The purchase was made under the terms of the Bunge membership interest purchase agreement and ends Bunge’s 13-year ownership interest in SIRE. As part of the transaction, the two Series B directors appointed by Bunge, Andrés Martín and Brett Caplice, resigned from the SIRE board. In addition, the two companies revised commercial agreements. [ read more … ]

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds

By Oliver Milman, The Guardian  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

The human toll from coal-fired pollution in America has been laid bare by a study that has found more than 26,000 lives were saved in the US in just a decade due to the shift from coal to gas for electricity generation. The shutdown of scores of coal power facilities across the US has reduced the toxic brew of pollutants suffered by nearby communities, cutting deaths from associated health problems such as heart disease and respiratory issues, the research found. [ read more … ]

EVs

Lithium-sulfur battery could cure range anxiety — study

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

Australian scientists say they’ve developed a lithium-sulfur battery durable enough to become the preferred power source for electric vehicles with double the range of a Tesla. Lithium-sulfur batteries are typically less expensive than lithium-ion types now used in electric cars, but they degrade quickly when delivering high volumes of energy. The Australian breakthrough could change that by providing a more stable cathode, the end of the battery that discharges electrical currents. [ read more … ]

2020

Joe Biden: Worse than even his policies, Donald Trump is destroying America’s soul

By Joe Biden, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

It’s no secret just how much damage President Donald Trump has done to our communities. He has repeatedly tried to snatch away our health care — and return us to the days when you could be denied care for having a pre-existing condition. His reckless, unnecessary trade war and Big Oil ethanol waivers have decimated Iowa farmers and producers — evaporating livelihoods and exacerbating a tragic spike in farm bankruptcies. And his chief legislative victory — a tax cut that largely benefited the wealthiest Americans — was little more than a slap in the face to working people. [ read more … ]

Oil Lobby Takes On Democrats’ Climate Plans: Campaign Update

  •    •  Posted January 7, 2020

The oil industry’s top lobbying group on Tuesday is launching a campaign to counter attacks from 2020 Democratic hopefuls vowing to phase out fossil fuels. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have called for banning fracking and curbing the use of fossil fuels as part of efforts to combat climate change. Other candidates have also outlined ambitious environmental plans. [ read more … ]

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