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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE April 17, 2020

Top Story

USDA Prepares Aid Package

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted April 17, 2020

Anticipating that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will soon provide details of an aid package to farmers, rural lawmakers and others are stressing their agendas for funding. Perdue told Fox Business News on Thursday that USDA expects to release a first phase of payments to producers “very soon.” Perdue said the first round of aid payments would be in the range of $16 billion to $18 billion. [ read more … ]


The E.P.A. Is Weakening Controls on Mercury

By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted April 17, 2020

By reducing the positive health effects of regulations on paper and raising their economic costs, the new method could be used to justify loosening restrictions on any pollutant that the fossil fuel industry has deemed too costly to control. “That is the big unstated goal,” said David Konisky, a professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University. “This is less about mercury than about potentially constraining or handcuffing future efforts by the E.P.A. to regulate air pollution.” [ read more … ]

Pandemic RFS Waiver Request

Coronavirus spurs new clash between Big Oil and Big Corn over U.S. biofuels

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

A fuel demand meltdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has started up a new fight between the oil and agriculture industries over the nation’s biofuel policy, this time over whether the policy should be suspended or expanded as a result of the crisis. A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in charge of overseeing the RFS, said the agency is watching the situation closely and “will make the appropriate determination at the appropriate time.” [ read more … ]

COVID-19 Cited in Waiver Request

By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Greg Abbott of Texas; Gary Herbert, Utah; Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt; Mark Gordon of Wyoming; and Louisiana’s John Bel Edwards, said refiners in their states face a financial burden from oil-market disruptions caused by COVID-19 economic shutdowns. “Apparently toilet paper isn’t the only thing in short supply in oil states these days,” he said in a statement.
[ read more … ]

Oil states seek relief from biofuel mandate

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

Ethanol producers slammed the governors’ claims as outrageous, arguing the RFS program requirements already “adjust in tandem” with changes in fuel consumption. Depressed fuel demand is hurting the biofuels industry “to an even greater extent: Nearly half of the nation’s ethanol production capacity has been idled as a result of falling gasoline demand,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. [ read more … ]

Oil State Governors Wrong to Target Renewable Fuel Standard, Rural Jobs

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

“Apparently toilet paper isn’t the only thing in short supply in oil states these days—clearly, these governors are experiencing an acute shortage of facts and reality too. It’s clear they know absolutely nothing about how the Renewable Fuel Standard actually works. They outrageously claim that a waiver is needed because of ‘depressed demand for transportation fuel.’ [ read more … ]


Ethanol production record low for second straight week

By John Perkins, Brownfield  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

U.S. ethanol production notched another record low daily average last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production dropped to 570,000 barrels a day, down 102,000, the second consecutive week with a record low because of slow blending demand and reduced travel caused by COVID-19 related social distancing and stay at home orders.
[ read more … ]

U.S. Weighs Paying Drillers to Leave Oil in Ground Amid Glut

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted April 16, 2020

The Energy Department has drafted a plan to compensate companies for sitting on as much as 365 million barrels worth of oil reserves by effectively making that untapped crude part of the U.S. government’s emergency stockpile, said senior administration officials, who asked not to be identified describing deliberations prior to a decision and announcement. [ read more … ]


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