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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 27, 2020

Top Story

U.S. EPA considers delaying compliance deadline for biofuels law

By Valerie Volcovici;, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 27, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to delay the deadline for oil refineries to comply with the nation’s biofuel regulation past March 31, to help the industry cope with fallout from the coronavirus, agency chief Andrew Wheeler said on Thursday. Asked about the possibility on a conference call with reporters, Wheeler said he would make an announcement “as soon as tomorrow.” [ read more … ]


Valero Ethanol Plants Halt Production

By Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted March 27, 2020

At least two of Valero’s 14 ethanol plants may be temporarily halting production, citing excess ethanol in storage as gasoline demand is falling amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In letters sent to traders this week, the company said it was unable to fulfill contracts with traders who sell dried distillers grains for its plants in Albion, Nebraska, and Albert City, Iowa. In addition, Valero has notified corn purchasers for its Lakota, Iowa, ethanol plant that it is not buying corn. [ read more … ]

In some states, oil-price collapse brings back 99-cent gas

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

It happened at one in Kentucky. Then at another one in Tennessee. And then at four more in Oklahoma. A handful of fueling stations across the country are bringing back something that hasn’t been seen since the days of big hair and brick phones — 99-cent gasoline. [ read more … ]

Ten signs the oil industry is bent out of shape

By David Gaffen, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

The oil industry has been hit by a simultaneous demand and supply shock in March as the coronavirus pandemic cuts fuel consumption and top producer Saudi Arabia raises output to full capacity to fight a price war with rivals. International crude oil prices have lost about 45% this month and fallen below the cost of much of the world’s production, causing energy companies worldwide to slash spending by tens of billions of dollars. [ read more … ]

Ethanol Production Drops 3%

By DTN Staff  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

Domestic ethanol production dropped for a third straight week, sliding to a 22-week low in the week ended March 20, while blending demand dropped to the lowest level in six weeks and inventories were drawn down, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, March 25. Data show U.S. ethanol supply down 458,000 barrels (bbl) in the week profiled to 24.140 million bbl, a seven-week low and down 1.2% from the same week last year.
[ read more … ]

Ethanol Plants Pushed Toward Unprofitability

By American Farm Bureau  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

In recent years, Saudi Arabia and Russia have supported global oil prices by aligning to strategically limit oil production. The recent collapse of this strategic agreement has driven up oil production capacity. At the same time, the self-distancing and quarantine protocols put in place in many countries to slow the spread of COVID-19 have reduced economic growth and stymied the demand for crude oil. [ read more … ]


How COVID-19 is impacting 5 state energy legislation efforts

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

The novel coronavirus global threat is beginning to hit state legislatures, a development that could hinder state clean energy policies, according to several industry stakeholders. 24 states and counting, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, have suspended or postponed their state legislative sessions in response to the epidemic, which had infected over 436,000 people globally and over 55,000 in the U.S. as of Wednesday morning, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
[ read more … ]


Trump administration walks away from ethanol court battle, angering oil refiners

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

The Trump administration has walked away from a chance to appeal a court decision on its refinery waiver program, delivering a win to ethanol producers while angering oil refiners. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) program, which grants economic hardship waivers to small oil refineries that are otherwise required to blend ethanol into their supply, shortcut national goals for ethanol use.  [ read more … ]


PFAS Found in Landfills; No Clear Path on What to Do About It

By Sylvia Carignan. Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

When Joe Fusco looks at a landfill, he sees the result of decades of consumer demand for waterproof, nonstick, and stain-resistant products, a soup of “forever chemicals” that could make their way into the water supply. “The chemicals are so prevalent in society,” said Fusco, who is vice president at Vermont-based Casella Waste Systems Inc. “You’re going to find it in every landfill. You’re going to find it in every wastewater treatment plant.” The chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are also popping up in drinking water supplies across the country. But finding the chemicals is just the first step. Determining their source, and what steps to take next, is less clear.
[ read more … ]


Electric car emissions myth ‘busted’

By Roger Harrabin, BBC  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

Fears that electric cars could actually increase carbon emissions are a damaging myth, new research shows. Media reports have questioned if electric cars are really “greener” once emissions from manufacture and electricity generation are counted. The research concludes that in most places electric cars produce fewer emissions overall – even if generation still involves fossil fuels.
[ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

U.S. refiners sell biofuel credits to raise cash as valuations tank

By Laura Sanicola, Reuters  •    •  Posted March 27, 2020

U.S. refiners sold renewable fuel credits last week in a bid to raise cash as their market capitalizations slumped amid the oil price crash, according to three industry sources. Refiners are under strain as the coronavirus pandemic has sapped global demand for gasoline and jet fuel, making it unprofitable to produce those products. [ read more … ]

Fuel Marketers Seek EPA Summer Fuel Waiver

By NACS Daily  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

NACS, NATSO, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) sent a joint industry letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking a waiver of summer gasoline sale requirements amid concerns about potential fuel shortages. Fuel demand is falling dramatically amid emergency declarations limited travel and work activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “This creates a unique challenge for fuel retailers as the industry approaches the May 1, 2020, transition date,” the NACS joint industry letter stated. [ read more … ]

Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted March 26, 2020

As much of his government battles the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump is pushing ahead with major reversals of environmental regulations, including a restriction on scientific research that some doctors worry would complicate future pandemic controls. Federal employees across multiple agencies said the administration was racing to complete a half-dozen significant rollbacks over the coming month. They include a measure to weaken automobile fuel efficiency standards, which one person familiar with the plans said would be issued as early as next week.
[ read more … ]


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