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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 9, 2020

Top Story

Trump administration seeks more time to respond to court ruling on biofuel waivers

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

The Trump administration has requested an additional two weeks to respond to a federal court ruling that questioned the legitimacy of its controversial biofuel waiver program for oil refineries, according to a court filing. The request could prolong a period of uncertainty over the future of a program that has saved the refining industry tens of millions of dollars per year in regulatory costs, but which has infuriated biofuels companies and corn farmers who believe it undercuts demand for ethanol. [ read more … ]

Trump Seeks More Time to Consider Appeal in Biofuel Waiver Case

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

The Trump administration is asking a federal court for 15 additional days to consider a possible appeal in a case threatening its ability to widely exempt oil refineries from biofuel-blending requirements. In a filing late Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the Justice Department said more time is needed because the Jan. 24 ruling conflicts with the Environmental Protection Administration’s practice of issuing waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. [ read more … ]


Trump’s Biofuel Plan Triggers Fallout in U.S. Farm Country

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

President Donald Trump’s decision to defend the U.S. government’s power to broadly exempt oil refineries from biofuel-blending requirements is triggering a backlash in Iowa and other states that are top producers of ethanol and the corn used to make it. Nine biofuel and agriculture advocacy groups warned of possible political repercussions, eight months before Election Day. And the Iowa Democratic Party immediately seized on Trump’s plans to launch a blistering attack on Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who’s running for re-election. [ read more … ]

Ernst “Blindsided” By New Trump Ethanol Move, Blames Cruz

By Pat Rynard, Starting Line  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

“This blindsided us,” Ernst said in response to a question about the news at a town hall forum in Jefferson, Iowa. The senator noted she had spoken briefly with Trump today, and she confirmed that his administration planned to appeal. “What happened, the way I understand it, was Ted Cruz went to the White House,” Ernst explained. “Somehow he ended up bending Attorney General Barr’s ear on this. And the purpose of their visit was immigration, it wasn’t supposed to be renewable fuels. So, he ended up talking to A.G. Barr and convincing him they needed to go back.”
[ read more … ]

Iowans slam reported plan by Trump administration to appeal ruling against ethanol exemptions

By Donnelle Eller and Shelby Fleig, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

Iowans are criticizing the Trump administration following reports that it will appeal a federal court ruling that clamps down on waivers to oil companies seeking exemptions from a requirement that they blend ethanol and biodiesel into the nation’s fuel supply. Reuters reported that the White House’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow this week told U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to fight a ruling that questioned its authority to grant exemptions to three small refineries in 2016. [ read more … ]

U.S. biofuel credits slump on expectation EPA will appeal refinery waiver ruling

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

U.S. renewable fuel credits fell more than 15% on Friday, traders said, after news the Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court decision that cast doubt on a program exempting small oil refineries from biofuel blending laws. The administration had previously intended to respond to the court decision by scaling back the waiver program. But a conversation between President Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas helped push the administration to shift course, two sources familiar with the matter said.
[ read more … ]

White House aims to appeal court decision that threatened refinery biofuel waivers: sources

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court decision that called into question a program exempting small oil refineries from the nation’s biofuel blending laws, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move comes after a major push from senators representing oil states, who said the program was essential for keeping refineries – and the jobs they provide – afloat. The administration had previously aimed to respond to the court decision by scaling back the waiver program. [ read more … ]

U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders Urge President Trump Stand by RFS | Renewable Fuels Association

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

“The president needs to understand that Ted Cruz doesn’t care about this administration or families across the heartland who are counting on the White House to keep its promises. Just days ago, thousands of farmers rallied behind Secretary Perdue, who expressed his confidence that we had finally reached the end of a long and painful fight against EPA demand destruction. Tearing open that wound, against the advice of rural champions and the president’s own advisors, would be viewed as a stunning betrayal of America’s rural workers and farmers.” [ read more … ]

Major U.S. oil lobbies split over biofuel waiver debate

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

U.S. oil industry associations were split on Friday over the Trump administration’s approach to biofuel policies, a rare public fracturing for the groups that more often find themselves at odds with corn growers than each other. A major trade association representing smaller refiners welcomed the Trump Administration’s plan to appeal a federal court ruling that would curtail exemptions given to small refiners from blending biofuels into gasoline. By contrast, one of the largest U.S. oil and gas lobby groups, the American Petroleum Institute (API), criticized the move to appeal. [ read more … ]

Barrasso cheers Trump admin plan to fight ruling on waivers

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted March 7, 2020

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) today cheered reports that the Trump administration will fight a court ruling curtailing biofuel blending waivers for small refineries. In a statement, Barrasso called the plan a victory for workers in the refineries, which are allowed exemptions from the renewable fuel standard requirements when they face economic hardship. [ read more … ]

Trump to Appeal RFS Waivers Ruling

By Todd Neeley, Progressiver Farmer  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal appeals court decision that delivered a major victory to biofuels producers and farmers who have for years fought the EPA’s expansion of the small-refinery exemptions program. Several news outlets reported on Thursday evening — citing multiple unnamed sources — that a last-minute appeal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other lawmakers reportedly convinced President Donald Trump to file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. [ read more … ]


The four biggest differences between the Biden and Sanders climate plans

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders agree Earth’s steadily rising temperatures are an “existential threat.” Both say President Trump made a grave mistake when he promised to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. And both offer more ambitious proposals for tackling climate change than any U.S. president ever has. But beyond that, the former vice president and the independent senator from Vermont have diverging proposals about how exactly — and how quickly — to try to cut the country’s contributions to global warming. [ read more … ]


G.M. Lays Out Ambitions for Electric-Vehicle Lineup to Rival Tesla

By Neal E. Boudette, New York Times  •    •  Posted March 8, 2020

“We want to get as many E.V.s on the road as possible,” said Mary T. Barra, the G.M. chief executive. “We believe climate change is real, and we have the ability and responsibility to create a cleaner, healthier planet.” The company is hoping that sales of its electric vehicles in the United States and China will exceed one million a year by 2025, Ms. Barra said. [ read more … ]


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