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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 22, 2020

Top Story

U.S. EPA Receives 52 New Petitions for Retroactive Biofuel Blending Waivers

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 52 new petitions for retroactive biofuel blending waivers that, if granted, would help bring oil refiners into compliance with a court ruling this year, EPA data showed on Thursday. The new pending applications for blending exemptions are for compliance years 2011 through 2018. The waivers exempt oil refiners from U.S. laws that require they blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel pool. [ read more … ]

Gap SREs

EPA Reports 52 New Pending SRE Requests

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

The EPA posted 52 new small-refinery exemptions requests from previous years on the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard dashboard on Thursday, drawing outrage from biofuels groups that have been calling on the agency to renew its transparency pledge. The agency now lists six pending requests each for 2011 and 2012, 10 each for 2013 and 2015, 11 in 2014, seven in 2016 and two in 2018, in addition to the 27 already listed for 2019 and one for 2020. [ read more … ]

EPA Considering 52 “Gap Year” Refinery Waiver Petitions; RFA Responds

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

In response to rising public outcry for greater transparency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today disclosed that 52 new petitions have been received from small refineries seeking retroactive exemptions from their Renewable Fuel Standard requirements in 2011-2018. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, refiners are filing these “gap year” waiver petitions as part of a cynical scheme to circumvent the recent Tenth Circuit Court decision.  In its January decision, the court overturned three exemptions and set a precedent for significantly curtailing the waivers going forward. [ read more … ]

EPA considering 52 new RFS waivers dating to 2011

By Ben Nuelle, AgriPulse  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

Renewable fuel advocates are fuming after the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Thursday it is considering 52 new pending small refinery exemptions that date as far back as 2011. Biofuel groups argue so-called “gap-filings” are circumventing a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from January. [ read more … ]


Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most

By Christopher Flavelle, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining more than 32 million births in the United States. [ read more … ]

In 5 Countries, Overwhelming Majorities Want Cleaner Air, Poll Finds

By Somini Sengupta, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

The coronavirus lockdown has fed a common desire in some very different countries: the need for cleaner air and support for tougher government rules to get rid of pollution, according to an opinion poll made public on Wednesday. A survey of people in five countries — Britain, Bulgaria, India, Nigeria, and Poland — found significant support for stricter air quality regulations and enforcement of existing rules. The survey was carried out amid the pandemic, between May 22 and June 2, by the online polling service, YouGov, on behalf of an advocacy group called the Clean Air Fund. [ read more … ]


China to Accelerate U.S. Farm Purchases After Hawaii Talks

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

China plans to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the phase one trade deal with the U.S. following talks in Hawaii this week. The world’s top soybean importer intends to step up buying of everything from soybeans to corn and ethanol after purchases fell behind due to coronavirus disruptions, said two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. [ read more … ]

Trump urged to ensure implementation of China trade agreement

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

Several biofuel producers and trade groups are among the nearly 200 organizations that sent a letter to President Trump on June 16 calling on him to ensure the continued implementation of the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement. The letter notes the agreement is critical to both the near-term and longer-term success and growth of American agriculture and the millions of American jobs the ag sector sustains. “While the current pace of U.S. agricultural exports to China is below the pace needed to meet the Phase One goals, American farmers, ranchers, and rural communities remain optimistic that the purchases under this agreement will accelerate and be fulfilled by China, and that as a result, the American agriculture sector will enjoy important market opportunities.” [ read more … ]


Peterson: Senate aid bill likely to include HEROES Act ag provisions

By The Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

The next Senate coronavirus aid package is likely to include the agriculture provisions that the House included in the HEROES Act, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said Wednesday during a Bipartisan Biofuels Caucus virtual town hall meeting. Peterson said he and other biofuels leaders are frustrated that the situation surrounding biofuels is not “straightened out.” Members of the caucus and industry leaders expressed concern over several issues, particularly the Trump administration’s lack of clarity about whether it will implement a court decision that said the Environmental Protection Agency’s decisions to grant small refinery waiver relief from the Renewable Fuel Standard was not properly undertaken. [ read more … ]


Bill compels EPA to act on RFS pathway, registration petitions

By Erin Voegele, Biomass Magazine  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on June 17 introduced legislation that aims to approve certain advanced biofuel registrations under the Renewable Fuel Standard that the U.S. EPA has failed to take action on and set a deadline for the agency to act on future RFS pathway and registration petitions. According to Thune’s office, the bill would approve certain advanced biofuel registrations that have languished before the EPA despite the fuels being successfully used in at least one state. EPA would also be required to render a decision within 90 days on any registration application that has been pending for at least 180 days, as well as take action within 180 days for completed pathway petitions pending for at least 180 days. The bill also provides $2 million for EPA to carry out the functions of the legislation. [ read more … ]


Despite E15 anniversary, ethanol plants struggle with drop in demand

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

It has been a year since President Donald Trump came to Iowa to celebrate E15, but the biofuel industry is asking for aid this summer to help it deal with the economic struggles brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and a variety of other items. “To say that the last year has been a roller coaster ride for the industry would be an enormous understatement,” says Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington, D.C. [ read more … ]

2020 Campaign

EPA Chief Spreads Trump’s Environmental Message in Swing States

By Stephen Lee, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 21, 2020

EPA head Andrew Wheeler’s ongoing tour of swing states could rouse enthusiasm among President Donald Trump’s supporters, though any effect on the November presidential election is likely to be small, political analysts say. Since late May, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has visited Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—all of which are likely battlegrounds in the November presidential election. [ read more … ]

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