Please add the Governors' Biofuels Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 25, 2020

Top Story

Ethanol industry sees prices fall to record low as demand for motor fuel drops

By Carol Spaeth-Bauer, Wisconsin Farmer  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

The ethanol industry, like many sectors in the U.S., is enduring unprecedented economic hardship as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. But the industry was facing demand destruction and challenging economics before COVID-19 hit and motor fuel demand started plummeting. Most analysts today are expecting about a 20 – 25% drop in consumption in the near term, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Jeff Cooper said in a March 19 conference call. Ethanol prices have fallen to record lows. So it’s not surprising that ethanol producer margins have also fallen and are in deep negative territory. [ read more … ]

SREs

Deadline Passes for U.S. EPA to Challenge Court Ruling on Biofuel Waivers

By Richard Valdmanis, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 25, 2020

Time has run out for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to challenge a federal court ruling that would limit the agency’s use of waivers exempting small oil refineries from the country’s biofuels regulations. The EPA had until the end of March 24 to file a challenge, but by early March 25, no such filing had been entered, according to a Reuters review of the case docket though the U.S. government’s electronic public access service for court records. [ read more … ]

Trump Administration reportedly won’t appeal SRE ruling

By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield News  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

It seems biofuels will be given the latest inch in its political tug-of-war with the oil industry. National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Ross tells Brownfield reports surfaced over the weekend that the Trump Administration will not appeal a recent 10th Circuit Court decision that would limit the EPA’s Small Refinery Exemption program. [ read more … ]

Climate

Today’s Corn Farmers Leave A Zero Carbon Footprint

By Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

In addition to feeding and fueling the world, farmers across the Corn Belt are helping sequester carbon by raising corn for ethanol, livestock feed and Fourth of July barbecues. “Corn is one of only a handful of grasses (C4) which are superior at extracting carbon dioxide from the air and fixing it in plants and sequestering it in the soil,” says Ron Alverson, a Chester, S.D., corn farmer. [ read more … ]

Coronavirus redraws battle lines on airline emissions

By Laurence Frost and Kate Abnett, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

European airlines crippled by the coronavirus have demanded lasting relief from environmental taxes – in a move that pits their immediate survival against longer-term emissions goals.
The looming tax tussle underscores shifting environmental battle lines and a broader question for governments injecting billions into their afflicted economies: Should bailouts come before climate objectives or rather be used to advance them? [ read more … ]

EVs

Coronavirus pumps the brakes on the electric vehicle revolution

By Maddie Stoneon, The Grist  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

Far from just impacting transportation today, the pandemic and ensuing economic fallout could have big implications for the transit systems of tomorrow. Early signs suggest that the electric vehicle market, like the rest of the auto market, is taking a serious hit from COVID-19. For now, it appears to be a short-term stallout. But with the economy headed for recession and the price of oil reaching historic lows, bigger challenges could lie ahead for the EV industry unless governments take proactive measures to ensure a clean transit future. [ read more … ]

Market

Cheap U.S. Corn Lures Chinese Buyers Seeking American Grain

By Isis Almeida and Shuping Niu, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 25, 2020

Cheap American corn is attracting prospective Chinese purchasers again less than a week after the Asian nation picked up the most supplies in almost seven years. Chinese buyers are inquiring about prices for American corn as well as sorghum, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The move comes as crashing U.S. prices make the yellow grain used in biofuel and animal feed more attractive, while the Chinese domestic market is seen staying strong. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Oil execs to Trump: Whose side are you on?

By BEN LEFEBVRE, Politico  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

The collapse of energy prices because of the coronavirus crisis, combined with Saudi and Russian refusals to curb production, has already forced the suspension of the Shell project that Trump touted in Western Pennsylvania. The crash is also estimated to knock out about half of all shale producers, according to analysts at Raymond James Inc., if prices remain at between $20 and $30 per barrel. (The price as of midday Monday was $22.73 per barrel by the standard West Texas Intermediate benchmark.) A price at that level would cost thousands of jobs and deal a serious blow to the vision of U.S. energy independence. [ read more … ]

Congress debates how to help energy sector in coronavirus stimulus measure

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted March 24, 2020

One of the biggest sticking points to emerge in the fight over the coronavirus stimulus package is how to prop up the nation’s energy sector, struggling from a glut of oil and plummeting prices during the spreading epidemic. Democrats were seeking a litany of subsidies for clean energy businesses to help renewable energy projects facing new economic headwinds from the viral outbreak. Republicans want to help keep the U.S. oil and gas sector afloat by buying fuel to fill a massive government reserve. [ read more … ]

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