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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE May 20, 2020

Top Story

Group of 24 Republican Senators From Oil States Ask EPA For RFS Waiver

By Todd Neeley, DTN Reporter  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

Pressure continues to mount on the Trump administration to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard for oil-producing states, as a group of 15 Republicans in the United States Senate asked EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for a waiver. In recent weeks 24 members of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as attorneys generals and governors from several states have asked for waivers, alleging economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis warrants an exemption. [ read more … ]

Relief

RFA Thanks Sens. Grassley, Klobuchar for Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act of 2020

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked Sens. Chuck Grassley and Amy Klobuchar for introducing bipartisan legislation to provide much needed emergency relief to ethanol producers hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new bill would reimburse renewable fuels producers for feedstocks they purchased during the first quarter of 2020. As of May 19, only 60 of the nation’s 204 ethanol plants were running at normal output rates, with the remaining 144 either completely or partially idled. More than 40 percent of the county’s ethanol production capacity remains offline. [ read more … ]

RFS

Biofuel Quotas to Get Small Lift Under Draft of EPA Plan

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a plan to slightly lift biofuel-blending targets next year, while so far skirting potentially controversial decisions about exempting refineries from U.S. mandates to use plant-based fuels, according to three people familiar with the matter. [ read more … ]

Market

A Month After Oil Plunged Into the Abyss, Prices Are Surging

By James Herron, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

Just a few weeks ago, crude oil was akin to industrial waste in some parts of the world, something you had to pay people to take away. Now prices are surging, up about 70% in New York since the start of May. The turnaround, which has been welcomed from Riyadh and Moscow to the White House, came quicker than most people were expecting but wasn’t easy. Painful OPEC+ production cuts and the world’s risky first steps out of coronavirus lockdown have lifted the market out of the abyss of negative prices, but either of them could falter. [ read more … ]

Oil prices are bouncing back from coronavirus-fueled lows

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

The price of oil price has rebounded big time – just a month after it took an unprecedented plunge briefly below $0. West Texas Intermediate, a crucial U.S. benchmark that turned heads on April 20 after trading for near negative $40, inched above $30 and hit a two-month high as demand for energy returns from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. And the price of Brent crude, a global benchmark, is now selling for around $35 a barrel.
[ read more … ]

Car Rule

EPA staff warned that mileage rollbacks had flaws. Trump officials ignored them.

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

In its rush to roll back the most significant climate policy enacted by President Barack Obama — mileage standards designed to reduce pollution from cars — the Trump administration ignored warnings that its new rule has serious flaws, according to documents shared with The Washington Post. The behind-the-scenes skirmish in late March between career employees and Trump appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency highlights the extent to which Trump officials are racing to reverse environmental policies by the end of the president’s first term. [ read more … ]

White House warned EPA about legal concerns, ‘spurious’ tone

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

“OMB was telling the agencies they didn’t have a legal justification. If the economists at OMB could see that, can you imagine how the court is going to look at this?” said Margo Oge, the former longtime head of EPA’s transportation office. Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, agreed with that assessment.
[ read more … ]

Emissions

Global emissions dropped ‘shocking’ 17% during lockdown

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

Global carbon dioxide emissions plunged by 17% in early April, as much of the world shut down to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a report released today.
The assessment by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) represents the most comprehensive look to date at the emissions impact of the global pandemic. Researchers studied emissions from 69 countries representing 97% of global CO2 emissions in an effort to get a picture of the virus’s effect on greenhouse gas levels. They compared daily CO2 output over the first four months of 2020 to the same days in 2019. [ read more … ]

Climate

Americans care about climate despite pandemic — poll

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

Public understanding about climate change and the underlying science has remained largely steady over the last year and in some cases reached new heights, according to the latest edition of “Climate Change in the American Mind,” the polling project conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. [ read more … ]

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

The Vatican is marking the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical by calling for the world to map out a sustainable post-coronavirus future that considers the plight of the hungry and poor.Francis has made protecting the planet one of the hallmarks of his papacy, and in 2015 issued a landmark encyclical, “Praised Be,” to lay out his appeal in the most authoritative teaching document a pope can pen. In it, Francis denounced the “perverse” economic model that had allowed the wealthy to exploit the poor and turn the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Analysts: Crisis will spark ‘electrification of transport’

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

Sales of new cars in the United States since the start of the year are down 31%, according to Cox Automotive, and in times of stress, any industry is tempted to stick to the tried and true. EVs are a multibillion-dollar investment that improves the climate but provides no relief to the immediate bottom line. But a new snapshot today by BloombergNEF delivers the glass-half-full forecast that while EV sales are being savaged by worldwide lockdowns, the prognosis for the traditional automobile is mortally worse. In 2020, the study concluded, EV sales will drop by 18%, but that’s not as bad as the 23% plunge for internal-combustion engine vehicles. [ read more … ]

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted May 19, 2020

“EV adoption is probably going to keep rising and not even dip, which is quite remarkable,” said BNEF head of advanced transport Colin McKerracher, the lead author on the long-term forecast, which assesses the market from now to 2040. “But that adoption rate is about to get very different between different countries.” [ read more … ]

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