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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 13, 2020

Top Story

Congressional watchdog to review Trump administration’s use of biofuel waivers

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 11, 2020

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will review the Trump administration’s use of waivers exempting oil refineries from the nation’s biofuel blending requirements, according to a letter dated Friday, after lawmakers called for an investigation. The so-called Small Refinery Exemptions are intended to protect refineries in financial distress from the cost of blending ethanol into gasoline, but the U.S. corn lobby and its representatives have accused the administration of overusing them to help oil companies at the expense of farmers.
[ read more … ]

GAO Will Investigate Small-Refinery Exemptions Program

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted January 13, 2020

The U.S. Government Accountability Office will investigate the EPA’s small-refinery exemptions program on 40 waivers reviewed by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2018 — in response to a request made by members of Congress back in August. In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives members on Friday, the GAO announced it would start an investigation. [ read more … ]


WSJ News Exclusive | Washington, Beijing Agree to New Dialogue to Pursue Reforms, Address Disputes

By Bob Davis and Alex Leary, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

The U.S. and China have agreed to semiannual talks to push for economic reform and resolve disputes, borrowing from a format from previous administrations that Trump trade officials had once derided. The effort will be headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, among other senior officials, according to a statement by Mr. Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released on Saturday. It is set to be announced on Jan. 15 as part of the signing of a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China that includes Chinese purchases of American goods and some reforms to China’s economic system. The deal is the first full pause in the two-year trade war. [ read more … ]

U.S., China agree to semi-annual talks aimed at reforms, resolving disputes

By Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

The United States and China have agreed to restart semi-annual talks aimed at resolving economic disputes between the two countries, a process abandoned at the start of the Trump administration as a trade conflict between the countries escalated. An official familiar with the deliberations said the resumption of the U.S. China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue will be announced on Jan. 15 as part of the signing of a Phase 1 trade deal between the U.S. and China. [ read more … ]


Advocates push Congress on technology against climate change

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

Farmers continue to be scared off from advanced technology that could help reduce the effects of climate change while making them money in the long run, witnesses told a congressional panel yesterday. At a House Small Business subcommittee hearing, experts said farmers could take advantage of more cutting-edge practices in conservation and carbon sequestration but are reluctant to take on short-term risk for what might be long-term rewards. That’s holding back opportunities for agriculture to play a bigger role in climate mitigation, they said. [ read more … ]

Despite Trump’s claim, U.S. still needs some Middle East oil

By Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

President Trump said during an address from the White House Wednesday that the U.S. no longer needs oil from the Middle East, but American refineries still use the kind of oil that region produces. Thanks to booming shale production, the U.S. reduced shipments from the Persian Gulf to a 30-year low last year. Still, Middle East crude makes up more than 10% of U.S. imports. With new oil production records being set in the Permian Basin, the country’s energy growth engine, America’s thinning reliance on Middle East crude isn’t about to reverse course. [ read more … ]

Clean Fuel

Five Reasons Midwestern States Need a Clean Fuel Standard

By Jeremy Martin, Union of Concerned Scientists  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

This week I joined the Great Plains Institute, the American Coalition for Ethanol and many other stakeholders in calling for to adopt clean fuel standards to cut transportation emissions by moving away from carbon intensive gasoline and diesel fuels toward cleaner transportation fuels, including electricity and low carbon biofuels. Clean fuel standards are already in place in California, Oregon and British Columbia. and several other states and jurisdictions are actively considering implementing similar measures. [ read more … ]


Teslas still go much farther on a single charge than their competitors. But the strategy carries risks.

By Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post  •    •  Posted January 12, 2020

Its closest electric car competitors on range, from companies such as Chevrolet, Jaguar and Nissan, can only make it about 240 miles — or a little farther than a drive from Washington, D.C., to New York City, though some individual models top out around 260. Most others are behind, barely topping 200 miles. Tesla is leading the electric vehicle race because it has more high-powered battery tech — and it takes more risks. For more than a decade, Tesla has been designing battery-powered vehicles from the ground up and using software to make the batteries more efficient. It has scrapped many weighty, traditional luxury features in favor of aerodynamics, taken measures such as ditching multi-gear transmissions in favor of dual motors programmed to send varying power ratios to the front and rear wheels. [ read more … ]


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