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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 30, 2020

Top Story

Green Fuel Plants Are Shutting Down and Some May Never Come Back

By Isis Almeida, Fabiana Batista and Michael Hirtzer, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

The entire biofuel industry is facing a reckoning. Long before the pandemic emptied roads and exacerbated an oil price war, producers were battling chronic oversupply and trade upheaval. Now slumping demand and prices mean smaller producers and those with heavy debt loads will struggle to ride out the losses. “When we come out of these two Black Swan events — the price war in oil and now the coronavirus — we will probably look differently as an industry,” said Todd Becker, chief executive officer of U.S. ethanol producer Green Plains Inc. “There are definitely plants out there that are going to run out of capital.” [ read more … ]


Gasoline demand expected to fall by 50 percent in wake of coronavirus: analysis

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

A sudden drop in travel due to the coronavirus could cut demand for oil by more than 50 percent. The analysis from IHS Markit, which studies the energy market, said the oil industry could take a sustained hit as people stay close to home and forgo typical commutes along with travel plans.
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E.P.A., Citing Coronavirus, Drastically Relaxes Rules for Polluters

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak.
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EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which the EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.” [ read more … ]

Ethanol plants seek rule changes to resupply hand sanitizer

By DAVID PITT Associated Press  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

s hospitals and nursing homes desperately search for hand sanitizer amid the coronavirus outbreak, federal regulators are preventing ethanol producers from providing millions of gallons of alcohol that could be transformed into the germ-killing mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s roadblock has been frustrating the health care and ethanol industries, which have been calling for a relaxed regulation to deal with the public health care emergency. [ read more … ]


EPA Holds Off on RFS Waivers Decision

By Todd Neeley, DTN  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

EPA announced its next steps on small-refinery exemptions following a recent decision by the Trump administration not to appeal a recent court case. The announcement was buried in a Friday news release on relieving gasoline requirements because of COVID-19. The agency said it would wait for any appeals to play out in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

New poll shows strong support for Trump in farm country

By Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted March 29, 2020

They’ve been through trade wars, ethanol battles and slumping commodity prices, but farmers and ranchers’ support for President Donald Trump remains strong, according to the latest Agri-Pulse poll of U.S. farmers and ranchers.  Some 72% of producers nationwide said they were willing to support Trump’s reelection, up from 69% during the fall of 2018 and 45% in the spring of 2018.  Ninety percent of the Republican or GOP-leaning farmers who were polled said they would vote for Trump this fall, compared to 48% of the independents and 24% of the Democrats.  [ read more … ]


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