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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 24, 2020

Top Story

Republican Stimulus Talks Stall Over Differences on Unemployment

By Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport, New York Times  •    •  Posted July 24, 2020

Republicans stumbled on Thursday in their efforts to find agreement on a broad new proposal to lift the struggling economy, with Senate leaders and the Trump administration at odds over multiple provisions, including how to extend unemployment benefits and White House requests for spending unrelated to the pandemic. Some details on the package’s contents became clear on Thursday, from summaries of the plan circulating on Capitol Hill and from comments by Mr. McConnell and some Republican committee leaders, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who announced new plans to aid small businesses.

Mr. Rubio told reporters on Thursday that he expected the legislation to include at least $200 billion — in new funds and reallocated aid from previous packages — to assist small businesses.

That would include allowing certain hard-hit small businesses to apply for a second round of loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, which lawmakers created in March, and giving recipients more flexibility in how they could spend the money. The proposal would also restrict the number of eligible businesses, including by requiring evidence of steep revenue losses. [ read more … ]

White House, GOP kill payroll tax cut but flounder on broader coronavirus bill

By Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted July 24, 2020

The emerging GOP bill also was expected to include $70 billion for elementary and secondary schools, with half of that money connected to schools physically reopening their classrooms. No new money for state and local governments was expected, but instead the legislation would allow local leaders more flexibility in spending $150 billion allocated in the Cares Act in March. Tax credits were expected to encourage businesses to retain workers and help them enact safety protections in workplaces. Another round of funding for the small-business Paycheck Protection Program was also expected. [ read more … ]

COVID-19 Aid Debate

By Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

The Senate bill will also contain language giving USDA discretion to make payments to ethanol plants and aid to livestock producers who had to kill their animals because they could not get them slaughtered. Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have been pushing hard for aid to ethanol plants and pork producers. Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tina Smith of Wisconsin also jointly wrote Senate leaders this week asking for specific aid to pork producers who have been forced to euthanize hogs because of plant closures that slowed down the supply chain. [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Senate Republicans Slate $20 Billion for Farmers in Proposed Aid Package

By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

Agri-Pulse is reporting that the proposed GOP package will include $20 billion in additional funding for USDA to help compensate farmers. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says they’re preparing for what comes next for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP. [ read more … ]

Markets

Ethanol production down for the first time since April

By John Perkins, Brownfield  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

U.S. ethanol production moved lower last week and stocks got tighter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production averaged 908,000 barrels a day, down 23,000 on the week, the first week to week decline since April, because of lower ethanol prices and signs summer gas demand might have peaked as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in parts of the U.S. That is 131,000 barrels below a year ago. [ read more … ]

EIA: Weekly ethanol production down 2.5%, stocks fall 4%

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

U.S. ethanol production was down approximately 2.5 percent the week ending July 17, while weekly ending stocks of fuel ethanol fell by nearly 4 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on July 22. [ read more … ]

Sanitizer

FDA expands hand sanitizer recall to at least 75 brands across the U.S.

By Kelsie Sandoval, NBC News  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration has expanded the list of hand sanitizers — some sold at Walmart, Costco and other national chains — being recalled to at least 75 recently, saying toxic levels of wood alcohol in them can cause injury or death. The FDA said that there has been an increase in hand sanitizers that are labeled to contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, but have tested positive for methanol, or wood alcohol. If methanol is absorbed through the skin, it can cause blindness and hospitalizations, or death if ingested. [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla plans new Gigafactory, scores Wall Street win

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

Tesla Inc. expanded its footprint in two historic dimensions yesterday. Financially, the clean energy firm planted a flag on Wall Street by notching a profit that sets it up for inclusion in the S&P 500. Geographically, the electric automaker laid a foundation in the heart of oil country, confirming the rumors that it will build its next factory in Austin, Texas. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Swamp politics is threatening the nation’s refineries

By Rep. Chip Roy, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted July 23, 2020

While refineries across the nation work overtime to produce the fuels that make us go, and more recently, even the hand sanitizers we use to fight COVID-19, politics surrounding the 15-year-old Renewable Fuel Standard threaten to shut them down. The RFS was put in place in 2005 amid rising fuel costs, war in the Middle East, and uncertainty about our domestic energy future. A lot has changed. The United States now leads the world in energy production, surpassing all expectations at that time. The RFS is, therefore, obsolete policy, propped up only by regional politicos and agribusiness lobbyists who benefit from its inflexible mandates. But the swamp does not easily surrender a good deal. [ read more … ]

 

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