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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE April 30, 2020

Top Story

U.S. Cracks Down on Ethanol-Based Hand Sanitizer, Hitting Supply as Demand Soars

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted April 30, 2020

The Trump administration has tightened restrictions on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, forcing suppliers of the corn-based alcohol to halt their sales at a time of soaring demand, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters. The crackdown is meant to protect consumers from potentially dangerous impurities in hand sanitizer but will likely worsen shortages of the product at a time households, hospitals and nursing homes need it to fight the coronavirus outbreak. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Bill authorizes $500 million to support biofuel infrastructure

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, on April 28 announced the introduction of the Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020. The bill aims to provide funding for installing and converting fuel pump infrastructure to deliver higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. The bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Don Bacon, R-Neb.; and Roger Marshall, R-Kan.
The bill authorizes $500 million over five years to help retailers offer higher ethanol blends, expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends, support biodiesel, bioheat, and sustainable aviation fuel markets, and accelerate the deployment of fueling infrastructure. [ read more … ]

Bipartisan bill would expand opportunities for biofuels

By Amie Simpson, Brownfields  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

The Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020 was introduced by Representatives Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Don Bacon of Nebraska, and Roger Marshall of Kansas.
The bill would authorize $500 million over five years and direct the US Secretary of Transportation to award funding to state, local, and tribal governments to give consumers more choices at the pumps. [ read more … ]

Company Receives $3 Million Financing on Ethanol-Diesel Technology

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted April 30, 2020

ClearFlame Engine Technologies closed on a $3 million initial round of financing from Clean Energy Ventures, along with other investors to help accelerate the development of a diesel engine that can run on ethanol, according to a news release from Clean Energy Ventures based in Boston. The technology has the ability to cut CO2 emissions from diesel engines by about 90%, as well as create a market for ethanol. [ read more … ]

Conservatives to Trump:Dump the RFS

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

Nearly two dozen conservative groups called on President Donald Trump to waive the biofuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard for the remainder of 2020. In a letter released Tuesday, the 23 groups, which includes Heritage Action for America and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, argued that the decline in gasoline consumption due to the pandemic makes the 15 billion gallon blending requirement impossible to meet. [ read more … ]

Pandemic

Day of reckoning dawns for industrial livestock farms

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

Critics of industrial-scale livestock farming say the evidence has rarely been clearer. Pork processing plants have temporarily closed after workers tested positive for COVID-19. Federal meat inspectors have fallen ill by the dozens, disrupting the operations of plants that remain open. Farmers are suddenly forced to feed — or kill — tens of thousands of animals that can’t find a way to market. [ read more … ]

Airborne Coronavirus Detected in Wuhan Hospitals

By Kenneth Chang, New York Times  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

Adding to growing evidence that the novel coronavirus can spread through air, scientists have identified genetic markers of the virus in airborne droplets, many with diameters smaller than one-ten-thousandth of an inch. That had been previously demonstrated in laboratory experiments, but now Chinese scientists studying real-world conditions report that they captured tiny droplets containing the genetic markers of the virus from the air in two hospitals in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started. [ read more … ]

Climate

Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News.

By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted April 30, 2020

“This historic decline in emissions is happening for all the wrong reasons,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director. “People are dying and countries are suffering enormous economic trauma right now. The only way to sustainably reduce emissions is not through painful lockdowns, but by putting the right energy and climate policies in place.” [ read more … ]

L.A. coronavirus clean air streak has already come to an end. Here’s why

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

So has L.A. smog been eliminated? Not exactly. While there is no question the restrictions to stem the pandemic have reduced air pollution, the coronavirus lockdown does not bear full responsibility for the weeks of clean air Californians have enjoyed. Dramatic reductions in vehicle and industrial emissions contributed to lower smog levels, air quality experts say, but much of the improvement was also due to stormy spring weather. [ read more … ]

EVs

Buffett-Backed BYD Predicts Profit Rebound as Outbreak Eases

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

BYD Co., the Chinese electric-vehicle maker backed by Warren Buffett, predicted a rebound in profit as an easing in the coronavirus outbreak revives demand in the world’s largest car market. The stock jumped. First-half net income will rise as much as 24%, the company said in a statement late Tuesday. That’s even after first-quarter net income slumped 85% and sales shrank 35%. [ read more … ]

Ford’s plan for Rivian-powered, electric Lincoln SUV canceled due to coronavirus

By Allison Matyus, Digital Trends  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

“Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Ford Motor Company’s strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle consistent with its Quiet Flight DNA,” a Lincoln spokesperson told Digital Trends. [ read more … ]

2020

Biden wants a climate secretary. Why that’s complicated

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted April 29, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposal for a Cabinet-level climate change secretary is getting mixed reviews from veterans of past administrations. Their question is this: Will it help or hurt efforts to deliver aggressive action on warming? The presumptive Democratic nominee said earlier this month at a virtual campaign fundraiser that if elected, he would consider creating three Cabinet positions, including one on climate that “goes beyond EPA.” [ read more … ]

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