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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 12, 2020

Top Story

White House clarifies limits of jobless aid plan as talks with Congress dim

By Jeff Stein, Tony Romm and Erica Werner, Washington Post  •    •  Posted August 12, 2020

White House officials are privately studying other options for approving economic boosts without a deal with Congress, according to two people aware of internal conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. For example, they are exploring whether more money could be repurposed for emergency pandemic relief. But signs also have continued to mount that the White House’s willingness to go-it-alone may prove unsustainable. States have expressed frustration over the practicality of the president’s new unemployment aid plan because the White House initially suggested states would have to contribute more money even though many are facing major budget shortfalls. The president’s favorite economic indicator — the stock market — began to slide Tuesday amid growing evidence that an additional aid package was not on the way [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Help On the Way For Ethanol Plants?

By Jerry Groskreutz, KDHL  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

The Congressional Biofuels Caucus sent a letter to the U.S. House and Senate leadership requesting additional resources for the U.S. biofuels sector. Co-chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus are Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) Roger Marshall (R-KS) Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL.) The letter specifically is requesting financial assistance for the U.S. biofuels sector be included in the next coronavirus aid legislation. The letter was signed by 31 other members of congress! [ read more … ]


New Poll Finds Iowa Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose EPA’s Efforts to Undercut Renewable Fuel Standard with Exemptions for Oil Refiners

By Brandi Snyder, Iowa Corn Growers  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

A new poll found that Iowans overwhelmingly oppose waivers given by EPA to oil refiners allowing them to ignore their obligations to blend renewable fuels like ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The poll also found Iowa voters strongly support the RFS and use of renewable fuels. By a margin of nearly 2-to-1, Iowans said they oppose RFS waivers, and more than four out of five respondents expressed a favorable opinion of renewable fuels and support for the RFS. [ read more … ]


Researchers Develop New, Cheap Way to Turn CO2 Into Ethanol

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a cheap, efficient way to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, potentially reducing the amount of new carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. The method, published in Nature Energy in late July, uses a copper-based catalyst to transform carbon dioxide into ethanol, which is used in almost all U.S. gasoline. [ read more … ]


China Is Ditching Expensive Brazilian Soy for U.S. Supplies

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

China, the world’s top soybean buyer, is ditching expensive Brazilian purchases and replacing previously done deals with American supplies, according to people familiar with the transactions. Traders are washing out Brazilian purchases made earlier in the year as the price gap to American supplies widened, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Some traders have struck the arrangements to supply their own operations in China, while others are doing them on behalf of Chinese clients, the people said. [ read more … ]

U.S. refiners’ biofuel bills soar in oil market slump

By Arathy S Nair and Shradha Singh, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

U.S. oil refiners this quarter are expected to spend the most since at least 2018 to meet U.S. biofuels requirements, further pressuring margins hit by the collapse since March in global prices and demand. Under renewable fuel legislation originally aimed to support corn farmers, refiners have to blend biofuels like ethanol or diesel made from animal fats or vegetable oils, into gasoline and diesel, or buy credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), from those who blend more than they are required to. [ read more … ]

Marathon Poised for $1.1 Billion Tax Refund From Coronavirus Aid

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

Companies across the spectrum, including retailers and renewable energy developers are taking advantage of the net operating loss provisions in the March stimulus law to claim multimillion-dollar refunds. But it is a particular benefit to oil companies that raked in record profits in 2018, only to be battered by this spring’s crash in crude prices and demand. Oil industry advocates stress that companies would much rather be scoring profits than claiming losses. [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Delta Air Lines Bought an Oil Refinery. It Didn’t Go as Planned.

By Clifford Krauss and Niraj Chokshi, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

Jet fuel is known as the Steady Eddie of the refinery business, a predictable profit maker that balances the seasonal gyrations of gasoline and diesel sales. But for airlines, it is a headache — a big and unpredictable expense that confounds managers. So Delta Air Lines tried a bold experiment: It bought an oil refinery in 2012 outside Philadelphia, the first such purchase by a major U.S. airline. When jet fuel prices were high, as they were then, Delta figured the refinery, which turns crude oil into the stuff that planes, cars and trucks burn, could offset some of its expenses and perhaps even make money. [ read more … ]


COVID-19 effects: Iowa’s economy is not out of the woods yet

By Walt Rogers, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

This summer, COVID-19 continues to be an albatross on the economy. Although Iowa’s economy is open, social distancing policies remain. Iowa’s unemployment rate fell from 10% in May to 8% in June. Even with Iowa’s unemployment rate falling, fear of the virus is preventing people from resuming regular activities. In addition, many small businesses are fighting to survive by keeping their business open at limited capacities due to social distancing. Every aspect of life in Iowa is being impacted by the pandemic. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden locks down mainstream green groups with Sierra Club endorsement

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted August 11, 2020

Joe Biden has won the backing of one of the nation’s largest, oldest and most influential environmental organizations — the Sierra Club. Ramón Cruz, the Oakland-based green group’s president, said in a statement that the urgent need to curb climate change in the next decade is compelling the Sierra Club to “do everything in our power to elect Joe Biden.” [ read more … ]


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