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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE April 6, 2020

Top Story

Ahead of Stimulus Talks, Voters Back Relief for Renewables More Than for Oil and Gas

BY LISA MARTINE JENKINS, Morning Consult  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

While future legislative action to support markets affected by the coronavirus pandemic remains uncertain, lawmakers have floated relief for both the renewable energy and the oil and gas sectors. But as the oil and gas industry faces the combined pressures of low demand and a supply glut, voters are more supportive of financial support for the renewables sector. [ read more … ]

Aid Requests

Farm Bureau tells USDA U.S. farmers need help immediately

By P.J. Huffstutter, Reuters  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

U.S. farmers need immediate financial help as the coronavirus continues to roil the nation’s food supply chain, the American Farm Bureau Federation said on Friday, urging the Agriculture Department to make special direct payments to dairy and cotton producers, livestock farmers and cattle ranchers, among others. In a letter sent to the USDA on Friday, the trade group also asked for emergency funding for ethanol plants, as well as the corn growers who can no longer sell their crops to them and the livestock producers who no longer have access to the facilities’ byproducts for feed. [ read more … ]

U.S. biofuels industry seeks bailout to weather “collapsing demand” -letter

By Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

The U.S. biofuel industry has asked the Trump administration for funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation to help it survive a demand slump triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The funds could be used to offset a portion of the industry’s corn and soy bean purchases, or as direct assistance to companies to help them retain staff, according to the April 1 letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. [ read more … ]

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Pandemic Sparks Price Surge for Alcohol Used in Hand Sanitizer

By Joe Wallace, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

“This was a March unlike any other March we have had,” said Jeremy Pafford, head of North American market development at data provider ICIS. “You compare it to February and it’s night and day from a demand standpoint.” The shortage of isopropyl alcohol is posing an obstacle to makers of disinfectant and sanitizer as they seek to lift production. Some manufacturers are turning to alternative ingredients. One, ethanol, has cheapened because of the recent fall in oil prices and the decline in car traffic in the U.S. and elsewhere. [ read more … ]

Iowa biofuel companies donate ethanol used to make hand sanitizer amid shortages

By KTVO  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

Four Iowa biofuels companies have donated ethanol and other ingredients, to be made into hand sanitizer after shortages due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) and Lakeview Plymouth Energy joined Absolute Energy and Western Iowa Energy in donating ethanol.
[ read more … ]

ACE’s Jennings Asks EPA to Make RFS Changes in Response to COVID-19, Falling Gasoline Demand

By Todd Neeley, DTN Reporter  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

With ethanol and gasoline demand plummeting in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, ethanol producers across the country are in dire straits. Many plants have been forced to shutdown or cut production, as a lack of demand has created backlogs at ethanol supply facilities. As a result, the head of one ethanol interest group has asked EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to consider making changes to the renewable volume obligations for 2020, to reflect a sharply fallen demand for fuel. [ read more … ]

Markets

Corn Prices Could Drop to Their Lowest Levels in More Than a Decade, Hurting Producers

By Myra P. Saefong, Barrons  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

Corn prices could drop to their lowest levels in more than a decade as coronavirus-related weakness in demand for gasoline pushes the cost of ethanol toward record lows. The decline in gasoline demand due to the widespread Covid-19 travel and work restrictions, especially in the U.S., deeply “affects the king of the ag markets—corn,” says Sal Gilbertie, president and chief investment officer at Teucrium Trading.
[ read more … ]

How an energy jobs coalition can help the US economy bounce back

By Ernie Moniz, The Hill  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

The chorus is growing louder: in addition to halting the increases in coronavirus cases, we need an energy stimulus package focused on rebuilding the economy. Job creation and infrastructure development will be key. With unemployment filings reaching nearly 10 million, it is clear we are in the midst of an economic calamity leading to significant business closures and further job losses, despite the stimulus packages enacted by Congress to date. We need to create new jobs, protect the livelihoods of American people and ensure the future resilience of our economy [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Data point Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles rule

By Patterson Clark, POLITICO  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

The Trump administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles rule, unveiled this week, would require automakers to improve fuel efficiency for trucks and light cars by 1.5 percent per year — well below the 5 percent target sought by the Obama administration [ read more … ]

What Is Flex Fuel? A Look at the Past, Present, and Future of E85

By Frank Markus, Motor Trend  •    •  Posted April 5, 2020

Did you know Henry Ford’s iconic Model T, built from 1908 to 1927, featured carburetor jets that could be adjusted to let the engine run on gasoline, ethanol, or a mix of the two? Yes, that capability made it the first commercially produced “flex-fuel” vehicle, though “flexing” it may have required some under-hood screwdriver fiddling. Way back in the early 1900s, gasoline, diesel, alcohols, electricity, and other fuels were all vying for the automotive transportation market. Petroleum obviously won out and dominated without question until the 1973 oil crisis spurred an interest in increased national energy independence. [ read more … ]

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