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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 10, 2020

Top Story

ADM closer to possible ethanol exit

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., the agribusiness giant that helped draw the blueprint for the U.S. biofuel industry, is in advanced talks for a deal that could involve a sale or a joint venture for its ethanol dry mills. The 118-year old agricultural commodities company is currently in negotiations with fewer than five interested parties, Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano said in an interview Wednesday at the company’s headquarters in Chicago. He declined to name the companies taking part in the discussions. [ read more … ]

Trade

Hopes for spike in U.S. farm exports to China dim ahead of trade deal signing

By Karl Plume in Chicago and Hallie Gu in Beijing, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Days before a U.S.-China trade deal is due to be signed, large Chinese purchases of Brazilian soybeans and a pair of unexpected policy moves by Beijing have dimmed U.S. hopes that China would double its imports of American farm products this year. U.S. President Donald Trump has touted the prospect of China buying $40 billion in U.S. farm products in 2020 as a pillar of the “Phase 1” agreement aimed at defusing the bitter trade war that erupted between the world’s two largest economies in 2018. [ read more … ]

U.S., China Dust Off Corporate Deals Before Trade Pact Signing

By Jenny Leonard and Steven Yang, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 10, 2020

The U.S. and China are finalizing a bevy of long-running corporate deals ahead of a high-profile ceremony to sign a trade deal next week that the world’s largest economies seek to cast as a major breakthrough and a marked warming in the relationship. Along with a Chinese delegation led by top negotiator Vice Premier Liu He, executives from American and Chinese companies will also attend the White House event to sign the phase-one agreement on Jan. 15, said the people, who asked not be named discussing private plans. People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang and Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan will also participate, they said. [ read more … ]

Washington Insider: Americans Paying Trump Administration Tariffs

By DTN Washington Insider  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

American businesses and consumers, and not China, are bearing the financial brunt of President Trump’s trade war, the New York Times said this week, and new data is undermining the president’s assertion that the United States is “taxing the hell out of China.” The Times cites a number of studies. For example, “U.S. tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by U.S. firms and consumers,” Mary Amiti, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, wrote in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. The other authors of the paper were David Weinstein of Columbia University and Stephen Redding of Princeton. [ read more … ]

Bad news abroad for biofuel makers

By RYAN MCCRIMMON, Politico  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

China is hitting pause on its plans to implement a national 10 percent ethanol mandate as the country’s corn supply has dwindled and biofuel production remains limited, Reuters reports.It’s a big blow to Chinese ethanol producers — but it’s also a setback for U.S. exporters who were hoping to tap into rising Chinese demand for the fuel. [ read more … ]

Climate

Democrats outline sweeping legislation to make U.S. carbon neutral by 2050

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

House Democrats outlined their vision for sweeping climate legislation Wednesday, offering a first look at a bill that would push the U.S. to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Wednesday’s white paper provides the framework that lawmakers in July promised to deliver by early 2020 – a broad climate bill targeting every major sector of the economy. [ read more … ]

Clean Fuel

New Report Outlines Clean Fuels Policy for the Midwest

By CINDY ZIMMERMAN, Ag Wired  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

A new report details how a good clean fuels policy for the Midwest should be designed, recommending a “technology-neutral, portfolio approach that encourages a fair and competitive marketplace and benefits producers, consumers, agriculture, utilities, jobs, and public health.” [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Trump unveils landmark rewrite of NEPA rules

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

President Trump announced plans today for overhauling rules surrounding the nation’s bedrock environmental law, and administration officials refuted claims they were downplaying greenhouse gas emissions. The president, during remarks at the White House with supporters and Cabinet officials, said he wanted to fix the nation’s “regulatory nightmare” through new guidelines for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.
[ read more … ]

Iran crisis drives oil price increase, ethanol delivers relief

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Tensions in the Middle East have inflamed global oil markets, sending Brent crude oil futures over $70 per barrel and pushing U.S. gasoline futures to a nine-month high. Analysts expect these gas price increases to reach the pump in the days ahead, hitting consumer pocketbooks and again underscoring the importance of enhancing domestic energy security through increased production and use of low-cost renewable fuels like ethanol. At the fuel terminals where gasoline is blended, ethanol is currently selling for 40-50 cents per gallon less than gasoline. [ read more … ]

EVs

‘Soft costs’ threaten EV charging build-out — study

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Electric-vehicle charging stations are slow and expensive to build, and it’s the “soft costs” — permits and paperwork — that are the toughest culprit, according to a new study. The paper by the Rocky Mountain Institute, released today, is meant to bring transparency to what the components and services that make up a charging station actually cost. The report observed that the early struggles of the EV charging industry are similar to the early travails of the solar industry. As was the case with solar arrays, the costs for charging equipment are dropping steadily, but overall project costs aren’t, because the permits and other processes are so cumbersome. [ read more … ]

2020

Minn. Senate race presents stark differences on climate

By Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith (D) has a clear position on climate change. Act big and act now. But she could lose her seat in November if a majority of Minnesota voters see climate change more like President Trump and one of his close surrogates, former Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn). Smith and Lewis are expected to wage a fierce battle in the 2020 campaign, including over climate change. The choice for voters will be stark. [ read more … ]

Trump to Hold Re-Election Rally in Iowa Ahead of Democratic Caucuses

By Catherine Lucey, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

President Trump’s re-election campaign is planning to hold a rally in Iowa in the days leading up to the state’s leadoff caucuses, said people familiar with the plans. Mr. Trump is expected to appear in the state several days before the Feb.3 caucuses. No event has officially been announced and the campaign did not comment. A gathering would give the president the opportunity to frame his campaign message in what will be a key general election state, as well as counter Democrats flooding the area before the first voting of 2020. [ read more … ]

The 2020 Election, Trump and Economics

By Chris Clayton, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted January 9, 2020

Following politics these days means you are probably buying ibuprofen wholesale.

Living in Iowa, all the mail, TV ads, phone calls and texts are from Democratic presidential candidates. Tom Steyer alone is spending more money on TV ads for someone polling around 2% than can be fathomed by a non-billionaire. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3 and can’t seem to come fast enough. Sometime before the end of March, a Democratic presidential nominee will break from the pack. [ read more … ]

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