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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 12, 2020

Top Story

U.S. Biofuel Group in Talks With Biden, Trump Campaigns to Boost Industry

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 12, 2020

A leading U.S. biofuel trade group said on Thursday it had started conversations with the campaigns of both Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump to discuss potential policy fixes for the ailing industry. The discussions come as the coronavirus pandemic crushes demand for ethanol and other biofuels, and as the industry wages a long-running lobbying effort to strengthen government biofuel consumption mandates that it says have been weakened by Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency. [ read more … ]

SREs/RFS Waivers

Biofuels Leaders Ask Trump to Reject New Round of Small-Refinery Exemption Requests

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted June 12, 2020

In an open letter to President Donald Trump published in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil this week, Renewable Fuels Association President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Cooper pleads with the president to support the biofuels industry. “One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement,” he said. “But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA’s refinery waives have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they undermine the expansion of E15. [ read more … ]

RFA Holds Trump Accountable for Industry Challenges

By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted June 12, 2020

A year after President Donald Trump visited an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the industry is now appealing to him directly to deal with the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, industry leaders said in a telephone news conference today and in a letter to the president published as a full page in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil. The industry’s impatience with Trump could have an impact on attitudes toward him in Iowa and other ethanol-producing states, and have an impact on this year’s election. [ read more … ]

A Defining Moment for Ethanol

By Geoff Cooper, RFA  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

These are indeed trying times. But it is in such times that real character is revealed. And the character of the U.S. ethanol industry has demonstrated itself to be resilient, innovative and extraordinarily generous. I cannot overstate the devastation that COVID-19 has wreaked upon the U.S. ethanol industry. From the beginning of March to the middle of April, well over half of the ethanol plants in the United States either idled completely or significantly slashed output. Nearly 8 billion gallons of production came offline in just six weeks, representing 45 percent of the ethanol industry’s annual production capacity. [ read more … ]

RFA Calls on President to Reject Refinery Waivers | Renewable Fuels Association

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

In an open letter to President Trump timed to today’s anniversary of his appearance at an Iowa ethanol plant, the Renewable Fuels Association called on him to reject attempts to grant the oil industry more waivers from renewable fuel obligations. “One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement,” wrote RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15% ethanol—called E15. [ read more … ]

Refiners Have Asked for Small-Refinery Exemptions for Previous Years

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

Biofuel and agriculture groups want to know what EPA intends to do with a number of new applications filed by refining interests, asking for small-refinery exemptions for previous compliance years. So far, the agency has declined to share even the number of those filings made. DTN has a pending Freedom of Information Act request for that information. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver ruled back in January the agency illegally granted exemptions to three small refineries. In that case, the court said the refiners were not eligible for exemptions because they had not previously received them. [ read more … ]

EPA

What Trump’s permit order means for NEPA, energy and race

By Kelsey Brugger, Lesley Clark and Heather Richards, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

The impact really depends on how the executive order is applied, said Susan-Jane Brown, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center. There is a “relief valve” in NEPA that allows for expediting. But it doesn’t waive environmental review obligations, it delays them, she said. “Simply saying we’ve got an economic emergency on our hands and therefore go build large infrastructure projects — it just doesn’t work that way in the real world,” she said. [ read more … ]

Markets

U.S. ethanol use hits 11-week high but is still 10% off ‘normal’

By Karen Braun, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

Fuel demand has made a strong comeback from the coronavirus gut-punch that had most of the world sheltering in place, though it is still notably off expected levels, leaving a lot of uncertainty over how much U.S. corn demand will ultimately be lost because of slower ethanol output. U.S. fuel ethanol production rose 9% on the week through June 5 to 837,000 barrels per day, which is up 56% from the record low back on April 24 but down nearly 20% from what might be observed this time of year with no disruptions. [ read more … ]

More Bad News For Merchant Refiners On RINs

By Tristan R. Brown, Seeking Alpha  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

Refiners have seen a large increase to their RIN expenditures in 2020 to date due to a tripling of the price of the largest RIN category. The U.S. Energy Information Administration continues to revise its forecast of 2021 gasoline consumption downward. This is raising the likelihood that next year’s mandate will require the ethanol blend wall to be breached, in which case RIN prices will move still higher. [ read more … ]

2020 Campaign

Trump’s biggest weakness? The environment, polls show

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

One of the widest gaps in how voters perceive the presidential candidates is on environmental policy, even as the nation reckons with a deadly pandemic and an eruption of protests over racial injustice. Recent polls reveal broad mistrust of President Trump’s handling of environmental issues, suggesting that Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has a large advantage on those issues less than five months before the election. [ read more … ]

EVs

Race for big EVs heats up with 3 automakers

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted June 11, 2020

The race to build bigger, cargo-hauling electric vehicles grew more intense yesterday as Tesla Inc., Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. all signaled plans to make them. Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to staff telling them that it is time to bring the company’s electric Semi, a full-size tractor-trailer, into “volume production,” according to Reuters. [ read more … ]

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