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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 6, 2020

Top Story

Trump threatens executive actions as coronavirus relief deal remains elusive on Capitol Hill

By Erica Werner, Karoun Demirjian and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted August 6, 2020

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said earlier Wednesday that if no deal was struck by Friday, further negotiation would be pointless and Trump would act on his own. But Democrats insisted they wanted to keep negotiating until they could reach agreement on an overall relief bill. “I feel optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but how long that tunnel is remains to be seen,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Grassley raises possibility of ‘skinny’ aid bill without agriculture

By The Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, today raised the possibility that Congress might pass a “skinny” coronavirus aid package this month and leave agriculture and many other issues until September. Grassley said that he got a call at 5 p.m. Monday that there had not been much progress, and he does not believe that the $20 billion for agriculture “has even been thought of” by the four top negotiators – White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-Calif. [ read more … ]

SREs

Welcome to the RFS fray

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

The Senate on Tuesday easily confirmed Mark Menezes to be deputy Energy secretary, voting 79-16, with just two Republicans — Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley — opposing the selection. Both senators have been vocal in their opposition to a slew of pending, retroactive waiver requests from small oil refineries for exemptions from their biofuel blending requirements, and they expressed concern Tuesday that the Energy Department was reviewing petitions it had already reviewed. “Given the uncertainty with the ‘gap year’ small refinery waivers, the wasted time and resources to score the waivers again, the lack of transparency in the entire process, and most importantly, the toll this has taken on Iowa’s farmers and biofuel producers, we could not in good faith support Mr. Menezes at this time,” the pair said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Marhets

Wells Fargo Economist: Biggest Threat to Farming Is Tesla

By Margy Eckelkamp, AgPro  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

“The biggest threat to farming is Tesla. You can’t force a Tesla to put in ethanol–no matter what you set the blend rate at. There is wholesale movement to electric vehicles,” he says. 
He says 10 years from now battery pack power will be up to 50% better than today, ethanol demand will slowly fade over 20 years. “Ethanol will not have a growth future. It will have a decline future. You better find a home for the grain, and it better be livestock,” Swanson says.  [ read more … ]

Omaha-based Green Plains records $8.2 million loss for 2nd quarter

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

Omaha-based Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (GPRE) on Monday reported a loss of $8.2 million in its second quarter. On a per-share basis, the company said it had a loss of 24 cents. The ethanol production, marketing and commodities company posted revenue of $418 million in the period. [ read more … ]

Bumper corn crop on tap as prices founder

By Adam Belz, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

Corn farmers across the United States are preparing for a near-record harvest thanks to a smooth, fast spring planting and favorable summer weather. Problem is, corn prices are horrible. Minnesota’s corn crop was 97% silking on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s well ahead of the five-year average for this stage of the growing season and far better than last year, when only 75% of the corn crop was silking. [ read more … ]

Debate over Brazil ethanol import tariff heats up

By Argus Media  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

Debate over Brazil’s tariff-free ethanol import quota is heating up ahead of a 31 August expiry. Brazil imposed a 20pc import tariff on ethanol imports in August 2017 in the face of rising imports from the US, with a 600mn liters/year (10,339 b/d) tariff-free quota. Amid pressure from Washington, the tariff-free quota was raised to 750mn l last year. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Climate Hawks Urge Biden to Shun Obama-Era Energy Moderates

By Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 5, 2020

Climate-change activists are pressuring Joe Biden to distance himself from former Obama administration advisers they view as either too moderate or too cozy with the fossil fuel industry, a sign of disunity on the eve of the Democratic convention. Groups such as Data for Progress and the Revolving Door Project are building a case against some people advising the Democratic presidential nominee, such as former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Obama environment aide Heather Zichal. Both have served on the boards of companies linked to fossil fuels since leaving government. [ read more … ]

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