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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 11, 2020

Top Story

Democrats block slimmed-down GOP coronavirus relief bill as hopes fade for any more congressional support

By Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Tony Romm, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

The failed Senate vote comes amid pleas from Federal Reserve officials and others who have said more fiscal assistance is needed to prevent the economy from sliding further this year. Many of the benefits approved by Congress in the $2 trillion Cares Act in March have run out. Roughly 29 million Americans received some type of jobless aid last week, new Labor Department data show, and large parts of the economy remain under severe strain.
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Extreme Weather

A Climate Reckoning in Fire-Stricken California

By Thomas Fuller and Christopher Flavelle, New York Times  •    •  Posted September 11, 2020

If climate change was a somewhat abstract notion a decade ago, today it is all too real for Californians. The intensely hot wildfires are not only chasing thousands of people from their homes but causing dangerous chemicals to leach into drinking water. Excessive heat warnings and suffocating smoky air have threatened the health of people already struggling during the pandemic. And the threat of more wildfires has led insurance companies to cancel homeowner policies and the state’s main utility to shut off power to tens of thousands of people pre-emptively. “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said last month. [ read more … ]


Bipartisan Senate plan would slash use of hydrofluorocarbons, a powerful greenhouse gas

By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 11, 2020

In a rare show of defiance of the Trump administration, key Senate Republicans joined Democrats on Thursday in agreeing to phase outchemicals widely used in air conditioners and refrigeration that are warming the planet. Despite the Trump administration’s refusal to join a global agreement to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, which are among the world’s most potent drivers of climate change, a push by U.S. firms and environmentalists appears to have swayed lawmakers. [ read more … ]


Brazil likely to extend zero-tariff ethanol imports past U.S. election, sources say

By Lisandra Paraguassu and Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

The Brazilian government is planning to extend a tariff-free ethanol import program for three months, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, a measure likely to please U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Brazil allowed a non-tariff quota for imports of 750 million liters per year of ethanol to expire at the end of August, resulting in U.S. producers having to pay a 20% tariff.
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Grassley: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association ethanol push hurts Trump, Ernst

By The Hagstrom Report, Fence Post  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday that the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is “stirring up a hornet’s nest” with its pressure on President Donald Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency to make decisions about small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard before the election as farm leaders called on Trump to deny the exemptions. Asked by The Hagstrom Report during a call with agriculture reporters whether EPA should make announcements about the small refinery waivers before the election, Grassley noted that the agency doesn’t “have to.” [ read more … ]


EIA lowers 2020, 2021 ethanol production forecasts

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration slightly reduced its forecasts for 2020 and 2021 ethanol production in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, which was released Sept. 9. Forecasts for ethanol blending were also lowered. The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 900,000 barrels per day this year, down from the 910,000-barrel-per-day estimate made in the agency’s August STEO. The EIA has also lowered its forecast for 2021 ethanol production to an average of 1 million barrels per day, down from its August prediction of 1.01 million barrels per day. Production averaged approximately 1.03 million barrels per day in 2019. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

The Energy 202: Top green group aims record $100 million at defeating Trump and Republicans

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

To defeat President Trump, a big-spending green group is planning to drop more money than ever on the 2020 election. A super PAC affiliated with the League of Conservation Voters and related groups is aiming to spend more than $100 million to elect Joe Biden and other Democrats in November, breaking the Washington-based organization’s previous record of $85 million in 2018.
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Vilsack highlights Biden’s support of ethanol

By The Fern  •    •  Posted September 10, 2020

Democrat Tom Vilsack, the former agriculture secretary and Iowa governor, made a virtual campaign sweep through the farm state last week on behalf of Joe Biden, emphasizing that the Democratic presidential nominee was a friend of ethanol. In virtual stops in Sioux City, Mason City, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Ottumwa, and Cedar Rapids areas, he said that the Trump administration has hurt ethanol and corn producers by granting waivers to oil refiners that allow them to avoid requirements for blending ethanol into gasoline under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The contentious issue has raged for years and sparked a legal battle, but the EPA has not said if it will implement an appellate court ruling that would mostly rule out such waivers in the future. [ read more … ]

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