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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 25, 2020

Top Story

Cutting coal plant pollution boosts crops — study

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

Reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-fired power plants does more than clean the air — it helps crops grow better, according to a newly published study. That’s a discovery from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Davis, who found that a reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants boosted corn production by 2.5% and soybean production by 1.6% from 2003 to 2011. While air pollution’s negative effect on plants is well-known, the study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics may mark the first time researchers have pinpointed the impact on corn and soybeans, a mainstay in the farm belt, said the lead author, Konstantinos Metaxoglou of MIT Sloan School of Management. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Struggles Drive Down 2019 Biofuels M&A

By Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 25, 2020

Despite the biofuels industry operating on thin margins and dealing with federal policy uncertainty in 2019, the number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry was historically low last year, according to a new report from an investment bank focused on biofuels transactions. Overproduction in the ethanol industry, as well EPA’s continued issuance of small-refinery exemptions last year, led to the idling of at least 20 ethanol plants. The biodiesel industry struggled as well from the expiration of the biodiesel blenders tax credit and SREs. [ read more … ]

Falling Fuel Costs Buoy U.S. Consumers

BY Amrith Ramkumar, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

Gasoline has dropped about 50 cents a gallon from last year near her home in the 6,000-person town of Raton, N.M.—lowering the cost of trips to restaurants, movie theaters or the closest Walmart, in neighboring Colorado. And even though cold weather has blanketed the area since October, falling natural-gas prices have helped the 63-year old retiree keep her three-bedroom home comfortably warm. [ read more … ]

EPA: 23 SRE petitions now pending for compliance year 2019

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

The U.S. EPA released updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on Feb. 21, reporting that two additional SRE petitions have been filed under the Renewable Fuel Standard for compliance year 2019. A total of 23 SRE petitions for compliance year 2019 have now been filed, up from 21 SRE petitions that had been filed as of Jan. 16. All 23 petitions are still pending. [ read more … ]

Gov. Ricketts Calls on U.S. Automakers to Design Cars to Run on Higher Ethanol Blends

By KNEB  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

Recently, Governor Pete Ricketts sent a letter to American automakers Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, urging them to increase production of passenger vehicles designed to run on higher ethanol blends, such as E20, E30, E40, and E85. “If leading U.S. automobile companies take the bold action to design cars to run on higher ethanol blends, it will bolster the already existing momentum for domestically produced renewable fuels,” wrote Gov. Ricketts.  “Moreover, the increased demand for these fuels will significantly strengthen the U.S. agriculture sector and the jobs and economies of… thousands of rural communities.” [ read more … ]

Tesla rival aims to banish 160-year-old lead tech from cars

By Ott Ummelas, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

Your sleek new Tesla Model S or electronic BMW has a distinctly 19th century feature that you may not be aware of, among its batteries. A company in Estonia wants to change that. Skeleton Technologies Group OÜ is working on supercapacitors, lightweight and long-life components that can distribute intensive bursts of power. These may help eliminate lead-acid batteries, a piece of technology invented in 1859 that still lurks under the hoods of Teslas in addition to the main lithium-ion power source. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Sonny Perdue: USDA Agriculture Innovation Agenda stakes out high goals for productivity, sustainability

By Sonny Perdue, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted February 24, 2020

Technology has made it easier than ever for consumers to know where their food comes from, but learning the story behind who is growing that food is not always easy. Farmers have a great story to tell, but sometimes the mainstream media overlooks farmers and paints a picture of American agriculture that is not accurate. It’s important for the public to know the truth about American agriculture.
[ read more … ]

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