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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 17, 2020

Top Story

A Bitter Wind at a Shaky Time, and Iowa Is Left Reeling

By Will Wright, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

“The short story is 2019 was the year from hell and we were glad when it was over,” said Jim Greif, a corn and soybean farmer in Prairieburg, about 60 miles north of Iowa City. “Now 2020, I don’t know what you’d call it, but it’s worse than last year.” Adding to the setbacks, Covid-19 pulled prices even further downward. “Farmers have basically been treading water financially for the past three to four years,” Prof. Hart said. “That was the mix that we were in coming into this disaster.” [ read more … ]

Court Certification Ruling

D.C. Circuit tosses biofuel maker’s complaint that new guidance will cost it valuable credits

By Sebastien Malo, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

Writing for the majority, U.S. Circuit Judge Cornelia Pillard, joined by U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, disagreed with POET. She reasoned that with its guidance document, the EPA was interpreting an RFS regulatory requirement that the methodologies biofuels producers resort to yield “reasonably accurate results”. “Requiring EPA to undertake notice and comment whenever it refines an interpretation of its rules or statutory authorities would discourage the agency from synthesizing and documenting helpful and reliable advice like the Cellulosic Guidance,” the judge wrote. U.S. Circuit Judge Karen Henderson, in a partial dissent, objected to construing the guidance as a mere interpretive document. The guidance changed the functioning of the RFS program with the effect that “that producers like POET are indefinitely foreclosed from successfully registering” their fuel under the regulatory scheme, she said [ read more … ]

Markets

Ethanol Profit Margins Continue Rise

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

Ethanol profit margins continue to improve at DTN’s hypothetical 50-million-gallon Neeley Biofuels plant in South Dakota, as producers in the United States continue to dig out from a COVID-19 economic shutdown hole. Since our last update on July 13, Neeley Biofuels saw its net-profit margin improve from 4 cents per gallon to 9.4 cents for this update. This is a dramatic improvement from a 16.1-cent loss on May 22. [ read more … ]

EIA: Ethanol Stocks Lowest Since End of December 2016

By DTN Staff  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

Ethanol inventory in the United States tumbled 3% in the first week of August, sliding to the lowest level in more than 3 1/2 years as demand rose to a better-than-four-month high and production hit a three-week low, the latest data from the Energy Information Administration show. At 19.750 million barrels (bbl), domestic ethanol stocks fell about 600,000 bbl to the lowest level since the final week of December 2016 at 18.678 million bbl. The year-over-year supply deficit widened to 17.6%. [ read more … ]

Trade

Brazil’s Bolsonaro faces tough choice on U.S. ethanol trade

By Marcelo Teixeira, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

Brazil is facing a difficult choice between going up against a powerful local sugar lobby and angering a key ally, U.S. President Donald Trump, as a major decision on international ethanol trade looms. A Brazilian tax-free ethanol import quota used entirely by U.S. producers is set to expire on Aug. 31, unless the government renews it. Allowing 750 million liters per year, it is a welcome volume for U.S. ethanol makers as the pandemic hit their business. [ read more … ]

Commentary

In a perfect storm of unstable markets and recession, Iowa’s rural communities need more than promises

By Cindy Axne, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

In recent months, public health and economic crises have combined to create a perfect storm that threatens all ships. But we must acknowledge those that were in peril long before this maelstrom struck. Iowa’s ethanol industry — along with the 40,000 workers, numerous industries, and rural economies it supports — has been battered by the trade war, illegal blending requirement “waivers,” and uncertain markets. Without more help through improved trade and direct aid, a cornerstone of Iowa’s economy and the rural communities of our state may emerge irreparably damaged. [ read more … ]

Corn Growers, Ethanol Supporters to EPA:  Stop Penalizing Ethanol Blends

By Kim Trinchet, Urban Air Initative  •    •  Posted August 16, 2020

The Urban Air Initiative (UAI), a coalition of state corn grower organizations, the American Coalition for Ethanol, and the Clean Fuels Development Coalition filed comments today asking EPA not to penalize ethanol’s ability to reduce carbon emissions. The EPA is proposing to penalize ethanol for its lower carbon profile, even though nothing in the law warrants this action. [ read more … ]

 

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