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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 20, 2020

Top Story

Storms, Trade Wars and Covid: Farmers Hit Again in Trump Country

By Kim Chipman and Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

This is just the latest blow to Midwestern farmers, pummeled first by the U.S.-China trade war and then by the pandemic. Coronavirus lockdowns served a serious hit to corn demand by delivering a knockout to the ethanol biofuel market. All that comes on top of years of stubbornly low prices and huge overhangs of inventory, which haven’t eased much under the administration of Donald Trump and his often-touted “love” for farmers. At least 20,000 homes and businesses in central Iowa are still without power after the Aug. 10 storm, according to utility Alliant Energy Inc. [ read more … ]

SREs

EPA Now Has 98 Pending Requests for Small-Refinery Exemptions

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Just days after a Midwest lawmaker pleaded with President Donald Trump to order his EPA to deny requests for so-called gap-year small-refinery exemptions, the agency has posted updated numbers of the number of exemption requests now pending. The EPA has received 98 total requests for years 2011 to 2020, including now 67 for 2011 to 2018, according to the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard dashboard.
[ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Senate GOP mulls skinny aid package without ag funding

ByBy Philip Brasher, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Senate Republicans are circulating a trimmed down coronavirus aid package that leaves out additional aid for farmers as well as the $1,200-per-person stimulus checks included in their earlier, $1 trillion HEALS Act.  The new proposal includes business liability protections that are a top priority for GOP leaders and also would authorize a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans with more favorable terms for farmers based on their Schedule F income.  [ read more … ]

Trade

China Expects Trade Deal Talks With U.S. to Take Place Soon

By Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

China confirmed plans to talk with U.S. officials soon to review progress on their preliminary trade deal, a rare engagement between the world’s largest economies as relations deteriorate on other issues ranging from human rights in Hong Kong to technological dominance. The two nations will be in touch in the near term, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said in Beijing Thursday when asked if the meeting will happen. Gao didn’t announce an exact date, or elaborate further. [ read more … ]

Markets

$1B gaps, education cuts: Oil states struggle to pay bills

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Oil-producing states are bracing for spending cuts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to put a damper on the industry. North Dakota’s oil production stayed near a seven-year low in June at 890,000 barrels a month, for instance. That’s a slight increase from May but still about 40% below the state’s output in December. Oil production tax revenues are 15% lower than forecast for the two-year budget cycle and a whopping 83% lower in July, according to North Dakota budget figures. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Nebraska ethanol industry applauds passage of LB1107

By Amber Rucker, Nebraska Ethanol Board  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Dubbed the great compromise, LB 1107 combined many of the business incentives of LB 720, otherwise known as the ImagiNE Act, with elements of property tax reform for all property owners including ethanol facilities. Critical to the ethanol industry were business tax incentives targeted toward renewable chemical operations which utilize ethanol and byproducts of the ethanol production process to create chemicals that are renewable-based. [ read more … ]

Gevo, Praj Industries to develop SAF in India

By Biofuels International  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Gevo and Praj Industries have signed a binding, definitive master framework agreement (MFA) to collaborate on providing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The agreement will see the firms develop renewable, low carbon, low particulate SAF and renewable premium petrol in India and neighbouring countries. The news follows an earlier announcement in April 2019 between both parties regarding the commercialisation of renewable isobutanol, SAF, and renewable premium petrol. [ read more … ]

ACE conference to feature USDA official, fuel retailers

By American Coalition for Ethanol  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

The American Coalition for Ethanol 33rd annual conference agenda condenses the usual slate of industry updates into a selection of online sessions that hone in on the most pressing issues facing the ethanol industry. The event agenda complements the broader content attendees will receive having dual access to the Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo sessions through ACE’s partnership with BBI International this year. ACE’s virtual conference has been rescheduled from its original in-person event which was set to take place Aug. 25 in Omaha, Nebraska. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Democrats weigh whether to go it alone on climate

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Democrats of all stripes rallied this week around the party’s ambitious pledge to address climate change, with support coming from party insiders, socialist activists and corporate executives. The exception was an uproar over the party platform. After the Democratic National Committee scrubbed platform language opposing fossil fuel subsidies, presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign reiterated that he would end them — spotlighting the unity between the party’s grassroots and the top of the ticket. [ read more … ]

Iowa Senate Race Focuses On Trump Administration’s Rocky Relationship With Biofuels

By Clay Masters, Iowa Public Radio  •    •  Posted August 20, 2020

Iowa’s Republican U.S. Sen Joni Ernst is fighting to hang onto her seat as Democrats see it as a potential pick up in November. Her Democratic challenger, real estate executive Theresa Greenfield, is running ads attacking Ernst for not being more forceful with the Trump administration and its handling of the state’s biofuels industry. Last week, Greenfield toured Western Iowa Energy in Wall Lake. The biodiesel plant started production in 2006 and is capable of producing 30 million gallons of Biodiesel a year. After she toured the plant, Greenfield asked its President and General Manager, Brad Wilson, how the country could grow the biodiesel industry.
[ read more … ]

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