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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 26, 2020

Top Story

Minnesota Sues Exxon, Koch Over Climate Change

By Christopher M. Matthews, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

The Minnesota attorney general sued Exxon Mobil Corp., Koch Industries and a top oil-and-gas trade group Wednesday, alleging they have for years deceived consumers about the effects of climate change. Attorney General Keith Ellison said Exxon, three Koch companies and the American Petroleum Institute deceived the public about climate-change science to protect their business interests and, in doing so, violated Minnesota laws that prohibit consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising. [ read more … ]

Retroactive Waiver SREs

Senators ask EPA to reject retroactive waivers

By Philip Brasher, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted June 26, 2020

A bipartisan group of 16 senators led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, are asking EPA to deny 52 retroactive biofuel usage waivers requested by refiners. 
“These petitions should not even be entertained because they are inconsistent with the Tenth Circuit decision, Congressional intent, the EPA’s own guidance, and – most importantly – the interests of farmers and rural communities who rely on the biofuel industry,” the letter reads. [ read more … ]

Markets

Refiners start to add renewable diesel capacity, seen as cost-cutting move

By Laura Sanicola, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

Refiners such as HollyFrontier Corp and CVR Energy are exploring opportunities to produce renewable diesel to save money on less profitable refineries and offset compliance costs associated with U.S. blending laws. The product, however, currently only occupies a tiny corner of diesel production – and logistical hurdles are likely to limit its growth in coming years. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Projects to Stash Carbon Dioxide Underground Get a Boost

By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

Carbon capture, a rarely tested strategy to fight climate change, is attracting growing interest in the United States after the Trump administration began clearing a longstanding roadblock to subsidizing the technology. In 2018, Congress approved a lucrative tax break for companies that trap carbon dioxide produced by industrial sites before the gas escapes into the atmosphere and heats the planet. But for years, potential carbon capture projects stalled because the Internal Revenue Service had yet to clarify how, exactly, the tax credit worked. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

DOJ whistleblower: California emissions probe was ‘abuse of authority’

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

A Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to investigate a California effort to reduce vehicle emissions was highly criticized on Wednesday by House Democrats, who called it an effort to strong-arm the state and automakers. An antitrust investigation into the July deals struck between California and four different automakers was kicked off just a day after a tweet from President Trump, a DOJ whistleblower testified during a fiery House Judiciary Committee hearing. [ read more … ]

Former Trump adviser alleges Trump caved to auto lobby on fuel economy rule

By Abby Smith & Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

President Trump’s former chief economist says the White House backed off from plans to “totally rip out” Obama-era fuel economy standards because of pressure from car companies.
“I disagree with what the president did. I mean, he ended up protecting the car companies, which every president before has done, and he did it too,” said Casey Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago who served as the chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers from July 2018 to June 2019. [ read more … ]

2020 Campaign

Biofuels enter Iowa senate race

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s Democratic challenger is hammering her in tweets and a new radio spot for her votes to confirm EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who she says has undermined the federal biofuels program by issuing dozens of exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Businesswoman Theresa Greenfield, the Democrat trying to unseat Ernst, launched the radio ad Wednesday as part of a statewide buy slamming Ernst for backing Wheeler, who she referred to as a “fossil fuel lobbyist” because of his past work. The attacks followed tweets in which she called for Wheeler to resign and asked Ernst to join her demand. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Is Trump’s fealty to Big Oil endangering Republicans’ grip on the Senate?

By Mike Carr, The Hill  •    •  Posted June 25, 2020

When Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) cruised to a nearly 10 point win in her first election in 2014, it was no surprise to the Des Moines Register, the gold standard for Iowa polling, which had her leading strongly going into that election. So she has to take it quite seriously that the same poll now shows her trailing a newcomer Democratic opponent by 3 points. Perhaps more importantly, her approval rating has been on a steady decline for a year now, with some polling showing her underwater with as much as a -7 net approval rating. So, what’s going on? [ read more … ]

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