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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 14, 2020

Top Story

‘We Knew They Had Cooked the Books’

By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

“Oh my God,” Alson said upon seeing the numbers. The other EPA engineers in the room gasped and started to point out other shocking claims on Tamm’s slide. It seemed as if every estimated cost had ballooned, while every estimated benefit had shrunk. Something in the study had gone deeply wrong.SAFE isn’t actually safe—and the Trump administration based its rollback on flawed math. Extensive interviews with key participants and a review of emails and documents reveal how this happened: The Trump administration kept the government’s top tailpipe-pollution experts from working on the tailpipe-pollution rule. For two years, rival bureaucrats at NHTSA and overworked Trump political appointees stonewalled the EPA team, blocked it from learning of the rollback, and prevented it from seeing analysis of the new rule. When the EPA engineers finally saw the flawed study and identified some of its worst errors, the same Trump officials ignored them. [ read more … ]


A Trillion Trees: How One Idea Triumphed Over Trump’s Climate Denialism

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

People warned Marc Benioff, the billionaire chief executive of Salesforce, not to bother talking to the White House about global warming. But Mr. Benioff, a tech mogul and environmental philanthropist, felt sure he had found a climate change solution that even President Trump could love: Planting trees. Never mind that the idea came from former Vice President Al Gore, who has demanded Mr. Trump’s resignation over his energy policies. Never mind that Mr. Trump has begun the yearlong process of withdrawing America from the Paris Agreement on climate change, mocked Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist, and worked to eliminate every regulation aimed at reducing planet-warming emissions. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Senate Democrats seek committee action on energy tax proposals

By Naomi Jagoda, The Hill  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

A group of Senate Democrats on Tuesday urged Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to schedule committee action on energy tax proposals, in an effort to help address climate change. “It is critical that the Committee move to address these issues in a timely manner, along with much needed policy changes to combat the damage and growing dangers caused by global climate change,” the senators wrote in a letter to Grassley. [ read more … ]

Sources: Bush didn’t talk about Trump and RFS to ethanol producers

By Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

Former President George W. Bush, who signed the bills that established the Renewable Fuel Standard, did not talk about the management of the RFS by President Donald Trump and his staff in a closed-door speech to the 25th annual National Ethanol Conference here Tuesday, sources who attended the event told The Hagstrom Report. Sources said the speech was inspiring and a reminder of an earlier age of more bipartisan politics. They also said that Bush invoked the role of his father, the late President George H.W. Bush, in his life. The sources did say, however, that Bush made some veiled references that were critical of Trump’s “America First” policy.
[ read more … ]

Conference Celebrates a President Who Helped Transform Ethanol Industry

By Andy Eubank, Hoosier Ag Today  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

“President Bush had a vision, and it really was about reducing consumer cost,” Dinneen said. “I remember when the president was first campaigning in 2000 and people were skeptical that this guy who hailed from the oil industry could ever wrap his arms around the ethanol industry. But, I kind of knew that he understands what octane means. He understands what it would mean to have a domestically produced fuel additive. And he did. He understood what it meant to consumers and consumer cost.” [ read more … ]

Ethanol industry sees court case, new demand, vehicles in future

By The Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

After acknowledging that 2019 “was a difficult year for the ethanol industry – one of the worst we’ve ever had” with production down 300 million gallons from the record achieved in 2018 to 15.8 billion gallons, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said here Wednesday that 2020 looks bright. Cooper pointed out to industry officials attending the National Ethanol Conference with “a frenetic burst of activity in the last few weeks of 2019, it became clear we were definitely heading in the right direction as the year came to a close.” That was followed by a Jan. 24 U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit “bombshell 99-page decision finding that EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) vastly exceeded its statutory authority in granting three specific small refinery exemptions,” Cooper said.
[ read more … ]

USDA’s McKinney speaks at NEC

By Matt Thompson, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted February 13, 2020

Ted McKinney, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, addressed the 2020 National Ethanol Conference Wednesday, offering kudos to the U.S. ethanol industry. He praised, “What you all have done to lift up farmers incomes, clean the air and do all the things that ethanol does for humanity,” McKinney said. [ read more … ]

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