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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE May 21, 2020

Top Story

China to Receive Rare U.S. Ethanol Shipment on Friday: Sources

By Florence Tan in Singapore and Hallie Gu in Beijing, Reuters  •    •  Posted May 21, 2020

A rare ethanol shipment of U.S. origin is expected to arrive in China this month, according to three industry sources and shipping data, probably the first such cargo since the two countries struck an initial trade deal in January. The market has been watching closely for signs of renewed trade in biofuel after China waived some additional tariffs on 696 American products, ethanol among them, to support purchases of U.S. farm goods, after the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal. [ read more … ]

Relief

Ethanol COVID-19 Relief Gains Momentum

By  Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted May 21, 2020

One way or another, the ethanol industry is hopeful any additional COVID-19 relief package coming from Congress will include some form of financial relief for the industry. This week, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced legislation to provide reimbursements to ethanol producers for feedstock purchases made dating back to the first quarter of 2020. Last Friday, the United States House of Representatives passed a COVID-19 bill that includes a proposed 45-cent-per-gallon payment to ethanol producers.
[ read more … ]

Government Shored Up Oil With Purchases, Now Senators Say It Needs To Help Ethanol

By Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had introduced an amendment to the CARES Act that would have granted relief for the ethanol industry if the oil companies got help. Now Grassley is introducing the amendment as a standalone bill because, he says, it’s a fairness issue.  “I’m not sure the oil companies, or oil-interest senators, see the same equity connection I do,” he says, “But that doesn’t keep us from moving ahead.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is co-sponsoring the bill. Grassley says the bipartisan effort comes naturally to the senators from neighboring states. [ read more … ]

RFS

Senators pressure Wheeler to ease blending requirements

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is facing renewed pressure to ease biofuel blending requirements for petroleum refineries as he prepares to testify in front of a Senate committee today. Attorneys general from seven states asked Wheeler to reduce the amount of ethanol and other biofuel required under the federal renewable fuel standard, and 15 Republican senators echoed the request yesterday. [ read more … ]

EPA draft would lift US biofuel blending mandates slightly in 2021 – sources

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted May 21, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed lifting the amount of biofuels that refiners must blend into their fuel next year to 20.17 billion gallons, from 20.09 billion this year, according to two sources familiar with the details of an agency draft proposal. The 2021 volumes would include 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels like ethanol and 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, according to the sources. The advanced biofuels mandate would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, up from 590 million gallons in 2020, they said. [ read more … ]

Pandemic

London hospital pulls extra-strength hand sanitizer from use

By Kate Dubinski, CBC News  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

The London Health Sciences Centre was forced to pull its latest batch of hand sanitizer after the manufacturer moved to a type that uses technical-grade ethanol which, while approved by Health Canada, can cause cancer and be harmful to children and pregnant or lactating women.  It can also cause skin irritation.  [ read more … ]

Markets

Feature: US ethanol producers eye uncertain future after earnings show financial damage from pandemic

By Wesley Swift, S&P Global  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

Earnings for major US ethanol producers took a hit in the first quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic slashed fuel demand across the country, and the globe. Now those companies are looking ahead nervously – not unlike many other sectors – at how their post-pandemic world will be reconfigured. Valero, ADM, Pacific Ethanol, The Andersons and Green Plains Renewable Energy reported their Q1 earnings in the past two weeks. All of the company’s ethanol units posted losses. [ read more … ]

Return of Car Traffic Fuels Surge in Oil

By Amrith Ramkumar, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

As more lockdown measures imposed to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic are eased around the world, some investors predict a long-term increase in oil prices. The turnaround is a boon to the beaten-down energy industry and underscores investors’ hopes for a global economic recovery. Oil tends to rally when more people are traveling, factories are operating and ships laden with goods are moving around the world, trends that also often boost stock prices. [ read more … ]

EPA

Multiday hearing on EPA’s soot proposal opens with discord

By Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

An hour into the public hearing on EPA’s plan to leave national soot standards unchanged, the battle lines were already sharply etched. “The science is clear; we need strong safeguards to protect public health,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) said as she called on EPA to significantly tighten its existing limits. Under its plan published last month, EPA wants to leave the annual threshold for soot — technically known as fine particles — at 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, with the daily limit remaining at 35 micrograms. [ read more … ]

EVs

GM, eyeing Tesla, makes headway on battery factory

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

General Motors Co. said yesterday that it’s preparing for construction of its large battery plant, a sign that the company intends to compete with Tesla Inc. in making electric vehicles in spite of the economic downturn. Making an EV battery that could go a million miles — a huge increase over today’s models — is “in our sights,” Tim Grewe, GM’s director for global electrification and battery systems, said in a call with journalists. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Fueling a cleaner future: Ethanol is just the beginning

By Nebraska Corn Board  •    •  Posted May 20, 2020

When you stop at the gas station to top off your tank, how much thought do you put in to choosing the fuel that’s right for your car? For your wallet? For the environment? For the air quality in your community? The truth is, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States – accounting for nearly 30%. [ read more … ]

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