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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 28, 2020

Top Story

Common pollutant linked to 11% higher virus death rate

By Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

In fresh evidence of a link between air pollution and vulnerability to COVID-19, Emory University researchers have tied a modest increase in nitrogen dioxide exposure to a markedly higher death rate from the virus-borne illness. The national study associated a 4.6-parts-per-billion rise in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations with an average 11% increase in the fatality rate for people with the respiratory disease, Donghai Liang, an assistant professor at the Atlanta school, told participants yesterday in a virtual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. [ read more … ]

SREs

Still undecided

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

“The COVID response has had a negative impact on both corn growers as well as refiners, and we’re trying to understand what the market is going to be and what we should expect for next year as far as the RVO is concerned,” Wheeler said, according to Reuters. POLITICO has reported that the Trump administration appears set to postpone the politically fraught decisions until after the November election in order to avoid backlash from the feuding agriculture and petroleum sectors. [ read more … ]

EPA Working on 2021 RVO, Waiver Requests

ByCindy Zimmerman, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler says they are working to get the 2021 Renewable Volume Obligations “done as quickly as possible” and promises they will not be as late as the previous administration. “I remember there in the Obama-Biden administration they were actually two years late on setting the RVOs,” said Wheeler during a press call on Wednesday. “So we certainly aren’t going to break their record.” [ read more … ]

Trade

American Ambassador to Brazil Center of Ethanol Tariff, Election Rift

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

United States efforts to convince Brazil to eliminate its tariff rate quota on ethanol imports, may have hit a snag as a result of questions raised by members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the actions of the American ambassador in Brazil. A July 31 story in the New York Times said the committee was “extremely alarmed” by reports the ambassador Todd Chapman “signaled to Brazilian officials they could help get President Trump re-elected by changing their trade policies,” the Times reported. In a July 31 letter to Chapman, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Albio Sires, D-New Jersey, chairman House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade; said, “These statements are completely inappropriate for a U.S. ambassador to make, and if true, would be a potential violation of the Hatch Act of 1939… Elections in the United States are for the American people and the American people only to decide…
[ read more … ]

Markets

Ethanol’s Market Move

By Lisa Gibson, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

As fuel ethanol producers scrambled to provide gallons and totes of alcohol to help satisfy the emergency need for hand sanitizer this year, ideas for longer-term opportunities were taking root. COVID-19 not only pointed emphatically at a diversification option, but it also illustrated how crucial diversification is, as fuel ethanol prices tanked to around 80 cents per gallon. As the industry works to get its feet back underneath it, many producers are investing in high-end alcohol production. It’s not just hand sanitizer; it encompasses other disinfectant products, as well as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, cosmetics and other industrial applications. [ read more … ]

Cap-and-Trade

California cap-and-trade auction rebounds to raise $474M

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

California’s latest cap-and-trade auction rebounded from its spring crash but failed to sell out. Buyers at the auction last week purchased 89% of the “allowances” for use this year. Allowances for use through 2023 sold out. Businesses such as refineries and cement manufacturers purchase the allowances to account for emissions that exceed the statutory carbon cap. [ read more … ]

Senate Climate Plan

Senate Democrats’ Climate Plan Includes Renewable Fuels

By Cindy Zimmerman, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

The Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis released a plan this week to achieve 100 percent global net-zero emissions no later than 2050, which includes proper implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). According to the report, “If implemented properly, the RFS gives farmers revenue stability, allowing U.S. agriculture to play an important role in reducing U.S. oil usage and further supporting rural economies.” [ read more … ]

EPA

EPA Touts Winning Record, but Some Attorneys Dispute Its Number

By Ellen M. Gilmer, Bloomberg Law  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

The EPA’s top lawyer is trumpeting the agency’s success rate in court, saying it’s won two-thirds of “significant” environmental cases during the Trump administration. But the assertion, made by the agency’s general counsel, Matthew Z. Leopold, in an Aug. 10 opinion piece in Bloomberg Law, clashes with—and also comes in response to—other tallies showing judges have largely sided with the EPA’s state and environmental adversaries. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Would Biden pick the ‘queen of green’ to lead EPA?

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, allies say he should pick an EPA administrator who can boost morale at the agency and craft aggressive regulations to fight climate change.
Few are better prepared for that work than California regulator Mary Nichols, according to former colleagues and officials. Since 2007, Nichols has served as chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the main air pollution regulator in the Golden State. [ read more … ]

Big hurdle for Biden’s energy plan: Trump staff cuts

By Jeremy Dillon and Lesley Clark, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

Congress has focused in the past year on a staffing shortage in the DOE division that oversees efficiency and renewables, questioning the administration’s commitment to bolstering new technologies. Bledsoe noted that the Trump administration has “denuded” the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy “rather purposefully.” But he noted there is an “immense cadre of young energy experts around the country now trained to address climate change.” [ read more … ]

Sen. Joni Ernst highlights military service, praises Trump’s derecho response in RNC speech

By Stephen Gruber-Miller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst spoke of her military experience and praised President Donald Trump’s response to the windstorm that struck Iowa two weeks ago during her Wednesday night Republican National Convention speech. Ernst, a first-term senator from Red Oak, was elected in 2014 and is up for reelection this year. She is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate and the first woman Iowa has sent to the U.S. Senate. [ read more … ]

Pence derides Biden’s climate ‘regime’ as expensive folly

By Lesley Clark, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence ripped Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as he formally accepted the nomination to the Republican ticket last night, charging that Biden’s climate change “regime” would hike costs for Americans. “Where this president achieved energy independence for the United States, Joe Biden would abolish fossil fuels, end fracking and impose a regime of climate change regulations that would drastically increase the cost of living for working families,” Pence said at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore.
[ read more … ]

Ernst, Noem Speak at RNC

By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN  •    •  Posted August 27, 2020

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., spoke at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, praising President Donald Trump and avoiding the current controversies in their states. Ernst praised Trump for providing aid following the recent derecho in Iowa, for rewriting the Waters of the United States rule and for implementing the sale of E-15 fuel. She did not mention the ethanol issues of small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard or the delay in the issuance of volumetric requirements under the RFS. The Renewable Fuels Association today asked the Environmental Protection Agency to speed up its decisions on both issues. [ read more … ]

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