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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 27, 2020

Top Story

China to Buy Record Amount of American Soybeans in 2020

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

China is set to buy a record amount of American soybeans this year as lower prices help the Asian nation boost purchases pledged under the phase-one trade deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Soy futures in Chicago climbed to a seven-month high. The total from the U.S. will probably reach about 40 million tons in 2020, the people said, asking not to be identified because the forecast isn’t public. That would be around 25% more than in 2017, the baseline year for the trade deal, and roughly 10% more than the record set in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Meadows Predicts No Stimulus Deal Until End of September

By Erik Wasson and Justin Sink, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows predicted there will be no stimulus deal with Congress until the end of September, and sought to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the delay. “If we got back in the room with some of their priorities, we could cut a deal — the president wants to do that. But I’m not optimistic,” Meadows said in an interview with Politico on Wednesday. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said by email that the speaker’s position remains that to restart talks the White House “must meet us halfway” between the top-line numbers on the package. [ read more … ]

Iowa farmers unsure what’s next after winds flatten corn

By David Pitt, Associated Press  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

The storm damaged crops in just over one-third of Iowa’s 99 counties, according to early estimates. Iowa is typically a national leader in corn and soybean production, and farmers in the worst hit counties had planted 3.6 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans. Not all the damaged crops have been ruined, and even those like Pierce who saw the worst of the devastation might be able to salvage some kind of harvest. But for many it will be a devastating end to a season that at one time seemed so promising. After years of trade wars, exports were increasing to China, an increase in driving was raising demand for corn-based ethanol, and Iowa was expected to approach a record for the crop. [ read more … ]


Wheeler: RFS blending decision stalled by pandemic

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler yesterday acknowledged that his agency may not be able to meet a late November deadline to set biofuel blending requirements for next year.
In a joint news conference call with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Wheeler said the annual rulemaking is more complicated than usual because of market disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. [ read more … ]

RFA Makes Plea for Action

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

“On vehicle miles traveled, miles are down,” Wheeler told reporters, indicating the economic shutdown could affect RFS volumes for 2021. “With COVID impact on corn growers and refiners we’re trying to understand what the market is going to be. We hope to have the RVO out as soon as we can. We have a lot more data points. We’re proud we’ve done it on time the first three years.” In order to make the Nov. 30 deadline on RVOs the agency needed to release its proposal at the end of June. That didn’t happen [ read more … ]

NFU urges administration to reject gap year waivers

By Amie Simpson, Brownfields  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

National Farmers Union is urging President Trump and the EPA to reject gap year waivers that would be retroactively applied if granted. Anne Steckel, senior biofuels advisor with NFU, says the gap year waivers are a blatant attempt by refiners to not comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard. “We’re really seeing a lot of hits to the ethanol industry and consequently the farmers because of these policies and what the administration is talking about has real-world impact on our farmers and so we’re calling on this administration to deny these waivers immediately,” she says. [ read more … ]

Senate Climate Bill

U.S. Senate Democrats unveil $400 billion-a-year plan to tackle climate change

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a plan to tackle climate change that calls for the U.S. government to spend more than $400 billion a year to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan is the latest in a series of blueprints from Democrats detailing how the United States can combat global warming. None are likely to proceed in the current Republican-controlled Senate but could get traction if the chamber flips to Democratic control after November’s election. [ read more … ]

Climate plan addresses potential of biofuels, bioenergy

By By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, the committee notes the use of advanced biofuels has not developed as rapidly as the authors of the RFS envisioned. “This is at least in part because the Trump administration continues to lower biofuel volumes and waive blending requirements under the RFS, jeopardizing the market stability that the RFS was intended to create,” the committee wrote in the report. “New policy tools may be needed to encourage growth of new advanced fuels beyond just corn starch ethanol and soybean biodiesel.” According to the committee, a federal Low Carbon Fuel Standard may be an effective policy to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel supply. The report cites the California LCFS as helping to avoid 38 million tons of carbon pollution and the use of 13.7 billion gallons of gasoline to date. [ read more … ]

GOP attacks Green New Deal, ‘job-killing regulations’

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Speakers focused on “radical environmentalists” and “job-killing regulations” during the second night of the Republican National Convention yesterday as supporters of President Trump attempted to make the case for his reelection based on fears of what a Biden administration would do. “They want to ramp up the job-killing regulations,” said Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council. “They want to decimate the American energy renaissance that we’ve experienced these last four years. And it will crater our economy.” [ read more … ]

Climate Is Taking On a Growing Role for Voters, Research Suggests

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

The number of Americans who feel passionately about climate change is rising sharply, and the issue appears likely to play a more important role in this year’s election than ever before, a new survey shows. That’s more, despite the turmoil caused by overlapping national and global crises, support for action to curb climate change has not diminished. Backing for government to do more to deal with global warming, at 68 percent in May of 2018, was at the same level in 2020, according to the survey, issued Monday. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden vows to support biofuels, slams Trump actions

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is pledging his support for biofuels and criticizing President Trump’s enforcement of the federal biofuel blending law. While his statement released yesterday did not make firm commitments like mandating certain volumes under the renewable fuel standard or rejecting oil refiners’ waiver requests, it was nonetheless his strongest statement backing an industry that’s central to the economy in Iowa, which could be a swing state in the election. [ read more … ]

Biden announces commitment to RFS

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Aug. 25 issued a statement describing his commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard and criticizing the Trump Administration’s administration of the program.   [ read more … ]

Biden hits Trump over Renewable Fuel Standard delays, waivers

By Spencer Chase, AgriPulse  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, says President Donald Trump has “sold out” American farmers in his governance of the nation’s biofuel mandate. In a statement exclusive to Agri-Pulse, Biden slammed Trump’s delay in announcing annual volume targets for the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal law setting biofuel blending targets for the nation’s fuel supply, and for issuing waivers from the mandate to small oil refineries. [ read more … ]

Biden jumps into biofuels fray

By Joel Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

His pledge to support the RFS comes as biofuels producers and corn-state lawmakers are increasing pressure on Trump to reject dozens of waivers from small oil refiners seeking exemptions from prior years of the biofuels blending requirements. And it appears to be an effort from the Biden campaign to persuade farmers that Trump isn’t actually on their side where it counts, on the same day the Republican National Convention featured a Wisconsin dairy farmer praising Trump’s trade policies. [ read more … ]

Biden hits Trump on RFS

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted August 26, 2020

Biden waded into an ongoing fight between refiners and farmers on Tuesday, releasing a statement that said President Donald Trump “sold out” farmers to the oil industry by granting small refineries exemptions to ethanol blending requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biden added that the 4 billion gallons in waivers the administration has granted over Trump’s first three years in office “severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs.” [ read more … ]



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