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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 5, 2020

Top Stories

U.S. EPA to slash biofuel waiver program, mulls other measures to help refiners: sources

By Stephanie Kelly in New York and Jeff Mason in Washington; Reuters  •    •  Posted March 5, 2020

The Trump administration has decided to drastically scale back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program exempting small oil refineries from the country’s biofuel regulations after a court case cast doubt on the legitimacy of the program, according to a person familiar with the matter. The agency, meanwhile, is discussing the possibility of instituting a cap or other restrictions on the price of biofuel blending credits, called RINs, that refiners must acquire to show compliance with the biofuel regulations, two other sources said. Such a move would serve as compensation to the oil industry if the lucrative waiver program went away. [ read more … ]

Wary of Democratic victories, agency rushes to finish rules

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

EPA is scrambling to finalize as many rules as possible by the middle of May to prevent Democrats from undoing them if they take control of the Senate and White House next year, according to experts who follow the agency’s rulemakings. Agency officials hope to make it impossible for a Democratic administration and Congress to employ the Congressional Review Act, which can be used to cancel Trump-era rules at EPA and other agencies. The law allows for resolutions of disapproval to pass the Senate with a simple majority vote. Once that occurs, an agency can bypass the usual procedures of proposal and public comment required to rescind a rule, which can take years. [ read more … ]

SREs

Perdue thinks SRE ruling should be applied nationwide

By Ken Anderson, Brownfield  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

At last week’s Commodity Classic, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said he believes small refinery exemptions (SREs) will be reduced in response to a recent Tenth Circuit Court ruling that EPA overstepped its SRE granting authority. But what if EPA decides to appeal the court’s decision? Speaking with reporters at the National Farmers Union annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia, Perdue said that appears doubtful. [ read more … ]

Clean Fuel Standard

Gov. Jay Inslee’s low-carbon fuel standard faces tough road ahead in Washington state

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s transportation fuels, a high-profile goal throughout his two terms in office, faces a difficult road as the Washington state Legislature heads into the final two weeks of its session. Legislation passed by the House of Representatives calls for a 20% reduction of the carbon intensity of these fuels by 2035 over 2017.
[ read more … ]

EVs

GM challenges Tesla with ‘Ultium’ batteries and fleet of EVs

By Joseph White and Paul Lienert, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra said Wednesday the Detroit automaker will invest $20 billion by 2025 in electric and automated vehicles as it races to catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc as vehicles go electric. The previously undisclosed investment figure was part of detailed presentations Barra and other GM executives gave to reporters and investors, to show that GM can make the transition from an internal combustion world to a battery electric one. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Minnesota bill aims to require E15

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

Legislation recently introduced in Minnesota aims to increase the minimum biofuel content in gasoline sold within the state to 15 percent. If signed into law, the bill would make Minnesota the first state to require the use of E15.
[ read more … ]

Pacific Ethanol Selling Its Ownership in Pacific Aurora

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted March 4, 2020

Included in the sale are two ethanol production facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 145 million gallons, a grain elevator with storage capacity of 4.1 million bushels and integrated rail facilities located in Aurora, Nebraska. After working capital adjustments and the settlement of certain payables between Pacific Aurora LLC and the Aurora Cooperative, the consideration received at closing is expected to be approximately $27 million in cash and $16.5 million in promissory notes. The sale is expected to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions. [ read more … ]

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