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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 26, 2020

Top Story

Biden says supports ethanol, hits Trump on handling of U.S. biofuel laws

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday threw his support behind U.S. laws that require oil refiners to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel pool and criticized the Trump administration for its handling of the mandates. “A Biden-Harris Administration will promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers, and will honor the critical role the renewable fuel industry plays in supporting the rural economy and the leadership role American agriculture will play in our fight against climate change,” Biden said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Pandemic Relief

Reynolds: Iowa will make $100 million in federal coronavirus aid available to farmers

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds has promised to make $100 million in federal aid available to farmers to help offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and derecho. “COVID-19 and a devastating derecho dealt a major blow to everything from the demand for ethanol to the supply of meat on grocery store shelves,” Reynolds said in a statement. “But just as important are the livelihoods of thousands of Iowa farm families, agricultural industries and the communities they support. [ read more … ]

Iowa biofuel producers tossed $15M pandemic aid ‘lifeline’

By Carl Surran, Seeking Alpha  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Iowa’s Gov. Reynolds says the state will allocate $100M of federal coronavirus relief funds to help the agriculture economy, including $15.5M for renewable fuel producers, as Iowa copes with recent storm damage and the ongoing pandemic. The funds are a “much-needed lifeline for Iowa’s renewable fuels producers,” after COVID-19 led to the idling of as much as half of the state’s biofuels production capacity, says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. [ read more … ]

E15

Ag, Biofuel Groups Defend E15 in Court

By Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Agriculture and biofuel groups are mounting a defense of EPA’s year-round E15 approval, arguing in a court brief filed in a federal appeals court that the agency was within its legal parameters with its action. Back in May, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers challenged EPA’s action. The group argued that E15 is not a fuel substantially similar to E10, that the Reid vapor pressure waiver does not apply to blends higher than E10, and that the agency did not have the authority to “reopen” E15 waivers it granted for use in vehicles 2001 and newer. [ read more … ]

SREs

Refineries count losses from Trump’s Iowa promises

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

Small-refinery owners urged the president yesterday not to give in to pressure from biofuel groups that want the agency to more strictly adhere to ethanol-blending mandates. At issue are the waivers EPA gives to small refineries that say they are being hurt financially by the federal requirement to either blend biofuel or, as an alternative, buy renewable fuel credits. Refiners have filed dozens of petitions for waivers covering several years. “Following your statements in Iowa,” the refiners told Trump in a letter, prices for renewable fuel credits spiked, adding $240 million to refiners’ costs within a week, “costs we are unable to bear.” [ read more … ]

Executives request Trump back small refineries on relief – letter

By Laura Sanicola, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

Executives of 16 U.S. refiners have asked President Donald Trump to side with small refineries on pending petitions for small refinery hardship relief under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in conversations with the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a letter signed on Monday. “We ask that you resist efforts to harm the critical energy infrastructure you have fought so hard to protect during your Presidency under the false premise that doing so will help farmers,” wrote executives at refiners, including Par Hawaii Refining, Sinclair Casper Refining and Calumet Montana and Shreveport Refining.
[ read more … ]

Trump’s pledge in Iowa heats up biofuels fight

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

 Trump promised during a trip to Iowa last week that he would personally talk to the EPA about dozens of Renewable Fuel Standard exemption waivers the agency is considering from small oil refiners. Now, both sides of the RFS fight are again ramping up pressure on the president. The National Biodiesel Board on Monday launched a six-state, two-week radio ad campaign calling on farmers and biofuels producers in those Midwestern states to hold Trump to his pledge to talk to the EPA and to urge him to reject the waivers. [ read more … ]

Clean Air Act

Trump EPA could undercut future Clean Air Act rules

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

EPA’s move this month to kill federal methane controls for oil and gas could do more than just make it easier for the greenhouse gas to enter the atmosphere. It could also make it harder for the agency to use the Clean Air Act to regulate in the future. That’s because EPA’s decision in mid-August to roll back Obama-era methane rules includes new guardrails on how EPA can use the Clean Air Act. [ read more … ]

Trade

Senior U.S., Chinese Officials Say They Are Committed to Phase-One Trade Deal

By Bob Davis and Lingling Wei, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials said they were committed to carrying out the phase-one trade accord between the two nations, the two governments said, after the two sides discussed the pact Monday evening U.S. time. The videoconference brought together U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for a formal review of the trade deal signed in January. The trade representative’s office released a one-paragraph summary of the talks, which it said included discussions of “significant increases” in the purchases of U.S. products by China. [ read more … ]

Brazilian ethanol trade in Trump sights

By Farm Progress  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

 Thursday’s House letter, led by Reps. Darin LaHood, R-Illinois, and Adrian Smith, R-Nebraska, asks Lighthizer to “…urge your Brazilian counterparts to terminate the ethanol tariff rate quota (TRQ) and prohibitive 20% tariff on out-of-quota imports, and instead reinstate the zero-duty exemption for U.S. ethanol from Brazil’s Common External Tariff that was in effect from 2012 to 2017.” [ read more … ]

Commentary

Will Trump keep his promise to farmers?

By Dave Walton, The Gazette  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

There is a myth in Washington, D.C., that Iowans are never satisfied with the Trump administration’s handling of biofuels policy. The truth couldn’t be simpler: Iowa’s farmers and biodiesel producers want Washington politicians to keep their promises on the Renewable Fuel Standard, and uphold the law. [ read more … ]

Proactively Leveraging Ethanol’s Low-Carbon Value

By Brian Jennings, ACE  •    •  Posted August 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented economic downturn for ethanol producers, so ACE has been prioritizing our members’ survival and recovery from the historic crisis. As I write this column in late July , we have helped convince members of Congress to introduce bipartisan legislation to reimburse ethanol producers either on gallons produced or on bushels processed, and we are urging them to include some form of direct economic relief in the phase-four stimulus package. [ read more … ]

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