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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 10, 2020

Top Story

Ethanol’s health benefits take center stage at leadership forum

By Matt Thompson, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

“We’re here to talk about clean fuels, climate and health,” said Reid Detchon, senior advisor for climate solutions of the United Nations Foundation. Ethanol, he said, can displace toxic aromatics in gasoline to the benefit of public health. “Substituting a larger fraction of ethanol for aromatics would have important benefits for public health and significant near-term climate benefits for transportation, which will otherwise take decades to transform,” Detchon said. “That’s the narrative we will unspool today. [ read more … ]

SREs

U.S. renewable fuel credits double since court decision on refinery waivers

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

U.S. renewable fuel prices have doubled since a U.S. appeals court in late January ruled that the Trump administration must reconsider three waivers it previously handed out to oil refineries that exempted them from biofuel blending laws. Prices have steadily risen because the court decision raises the possibility of fewer small-refinery waivers going forward, creating higher demand for the credits, traders said. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Justice Department Drops Antitrust Probe Against Automakers That Sided With California on Emissions

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

The Justice Department has dropped its antitrust inquiry into four automakers that had sided with California in its dispute with the Trump administration over reducing climate-warming vehicle pollution, deciding that the companies had violated no laws, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation, launched last September, had escalated a dispute over one of President Trump’s most significant rollbacks of global warming regulations. The Justice Department’s move was one of a slew of seemingly retributive actions by the White House against California, as the state worked with the four automakers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW — to defy Mr. Trump’s planned rollback of national fuel economy standards. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Trump Withholding $823 Million for Clean Energy, Democrats Say

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

The Trump administration is withholding nearly a billion dollars for a clean energy program it has unsuccessfully tried to cut, congressional Democrats said Wednesday, raising the specter of political interference. The unspent funds now amount to $823 million in the Energy Department’s office that provides grants and other financial assistance for alternative energy, electric vehicles and energy efficiency, according to Democrats on the House Science Committee, which is holding a joint subcommittee hearing on the topic. [ read more … ]

Policy swings shutter Iowa’s biodiesel plants

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

Fifteen years ago, farmers produced so much soybean oil they couldn’t figure out what to with it all. It was good for cooking and salad dressing — and not much more. “We were throwing it away,” recalled Bill Shipley, a farmer and district director with the Iowa Soybean Association. Then came the renewable fuel standard in 2005, mandating the use of biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply. Around the same time, Congress created a federal tax credit for biodiesel producers and blenders. Soybean oil, a leftover from the crushing of beans for animal feed, became a moneymaker — and a player in policy fights over alternative fuels. Ninety-three biodiesel plants across the United States can produce about 2.5 billion gallons a year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [ read more … ]

2020

Why Democratic presidential candidates, for once, are not fighting over ethanol

By Umair Irfan, Vox  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

Not so long ago, esoteric policies about biofuels, and particularly ethanol, were a sharp dividing line in presidential primaries and an issue that dogged candidates on the trail in Iowa. It separated candidates who supported getting rid of subsidies for biofuels and were skeptical of their environmental merits from those who believed in them as a bridge to energy independence and a low-carbon future. And in a crucial early primary contest in Iowa, where biofuels are a huge section of the economy, questions about them were hard to avoid. [ read more … ]

Document shows Bernie Sanders’s team preparing dozens of potential executive orders

By Jeff Stein and Sean Sullivan, Washington Post  •    •  Posted February 9, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is considering dozens of executive orders he could unilaterally enact on a wide range of domestic policy issues if elected president, including immigration, the environment and prescription drugs, according to two people familiar with the campaign’s planning and an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post. Sanders has risen in national and early-state polling in the final days before Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the Democratic presidential primary, which has fueled concerns among some party insiders that he could win the nomination. [ read more … ]

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