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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 14, 2020

Top Story

Earth hasn’t warmed this fast in tens of millions of years

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Scientists just completed one of the most comprehensive investigations of Earth’s climate history — and the findings aren’t favorable. They found that the planet could eventually warm to levels it hasn’t reached in at least 34 million years. [ read more … ]

E15

Trump Makes Twitter Announcement to Allow E15 to be Sold in Existing Infrastructure

By Todd Neeley, DTN Reporter  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

In a tweet and a phone call to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, posted by Ernst on Twitter, President Donald Trump announced his administration will allow E15 to be sold in existing E10 infrastructure. “Subject only to State approval, our important Ethanol Industry will be allowed to use the 10% Pumps for the 15% BLEND. Thank you! @SenJoniErnst @ChuckGrassley @SenatorFischer @SenJohnThune @SenatorRounds @KimReynoldsIA @EPAAWheeler @SecretarySonny @govkristinoem,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. [ read more … ]

Trump Announces E15 Fuel Can Go Into E10 Fuel Pumps

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

In a phone call Saturday with Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, President Donald Trump announced he had signed an order allowing the ethanol industry to use 15% ethanol blends in 10% blend pumps. Trump said the decision would save the ethanol industry hundreds of millions of dollars in savings on pump conversions. “Subject only to State approval, our important Ethanol Industry will be allowed to use the 10% Pumps for the 15% BLEND. Thank you! @SenJoniErnst @ChuckGrassley @SenatorFischer @SenJohnThune @SenatorRounds @KimReynoldsIA @EPAAWheeler @SecretarySonny @govkristinoem” Trump did not make any mention of any EPA decision on the 67 pending small-refinery exemption requests awaiting a ruling from EPA. Reuters reported on Sept. 9 that Trump had ordered EPA to reject the small-refinery exemptions, but no announcement has been made yet.
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Trump Vows to Unleash Ethanol Sales as He Woos Corn Belt

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

President Donald Trump promised to allow higher-ethanol gasoline to be distributed using existing filling station pumps, a move designed to bolster support among corn farmers and biofuel producers in Iowa and other Midwestern swing states. Trump announced the decision Saturday on Twitter after a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who’s been pushing for the change as part of her own re-election battle. “Subject only to State approval, our important Ethanol Industry will be allowed to use the 10% Pumps for the 15% BLEND,” Trump tweeted. [ read more … ]

Trade

Pompeo Thanks U.S. Envoy to China, Hinting at Change at Embassy

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo thanked Ambassador to China Terry Branstad for his service, appearing to confirm an earlier statement by President Donald Trump saying that the U.S.’s top diplomat was leaving Beijing. In a series of tweets, Pompeo praised Branstad’s contribution to “rebalancing” the U.S.’s relationship with China. Still, the secretary stopped short of saying explicitly whether Branstad was continuing on the job. [ read more … ]

Brazil extends tariff-free ethanol imports, opens trade talks with U.S.

By Lisandra Paraguassu, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Brazil’s government will extend a tariff-free ethanol import program with the United States for 90 days starting Sept. 14, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. During that time, the United States and Brazil will discuss ways in which they can open up their respective ethanol, soy and corn markets, the statement said. 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. [ read more … ]

SREs

Trump Considers Cash Aid for Refineries Denied Biofuel Waivers

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Trump administration officials are developing a plan to offset the potential economic damage of denying dozens of refineries waivers from biofuel-usage mandates: giving them financial aid. The approach is actively being discussed by top Environmental Protection Agency officials as the administration courts two important voting blocs for President Donald Trump: blue-collar oil industry workers, and agricultural interests in the Corn Belt. The talks were described by three people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the administration’s private deliberations. [ read more … ]

Trump administration considering aid for refiners denied biofuel waivers: sources

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

The Trump administration is considering financial aid for oil refiners denied waivers that exempt them from U.S. biofuel blending requirements, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Sources told Reuters this week that President Donald Trump has instructed his Environmental Protection Agency to deny dozens of requests from oil refiners for retroactive waivers. The financial relief would be a way for the administration to assuage refiners that say requirements to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel are too pricey. [ read more … ]

Trump decision to cut refiner biofuel waivers followed pressure from farm states: sources

By Stephanie Kelly, Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

President Donald Trump’s allies in Iowa launched a pressure campaign seeking his support for the ethanol industry in recent weeks, ultimately leading to his decision this week to gut a program granting waivers to oil refineries from biofuel requirements, according to two sources familiar with the events. The push, led by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, came as Trump’s Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden was slamming Trump on the issue under the advice of rural Democrats who wanted the former vice president to capitalize on tightening polls in Iowa. [ read more … ]

Kim Reynolds Waiting For Info On Rumored Trump Administration Ethanol Decision

By Luke Jansma, KIWA  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Governor Kim Reynolds says she cannot confirm what the Trump Administration may be planning to announce regarding oil company waivers from ethanol blending requirements. Reynolds says she saw the Reuters report on Tuesday evening that indicated Trump has directed the EPA to deny waivers the oil industry requested in previous years. [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Senate fails to advance COVID-19 relief package

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

The U.S. Senate on Sept. 10 failed to advance a $300 billion COVID-19 relief package that contained $20 billion in ag support and an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program, two provisions that could have provided indirect relief to biofuel producers. The vote of 52 to 47 was short of the 60 votes needed to advance the relief package. The Senate released details of the package earlier this week. The bill, titled “Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act,” did not include dedicated relief for biofuel producers. [ read more … ]

States

Minnesota ag commissioner on year of challenges and opportunities for renewable energy

By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfields  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

The commissioner of agriculture for Minnesota considers the last year full of tremendous challenges but also opportunities for renewable energy. Thom Petersen says he frequently communicates with officials at ethanol and biodiesel plants across the state. “I might have on one hand a company or industry that’s really failing and really needs help, but on the other hand I do a meeting or a call with an industry or part of an industry that had a great idea and wants to really expand in Minnesota.” [ read more … ]

Markets

Oil Traders Snap Up Tankers in Sign Second-Wave Glut Is Near

By Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Some of the world’s biggest oil traders are getting ready for the possible resurgence of a coronavirus-induced glut of crude and fuels, snapping up giant tankers for months-long charters so that they can be ready to store excess barrels if necessary. The chartering spree is likely to alarm Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies as it indicates that the oil traders believe the crude market is moving into a surplus after OPEC+ managed to create a deficit earlier this summer with its output cuts. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Democrats unveil green alternative for U.S. economic stimulus

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 13, 2020

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a U.S. economic recovery agenda that would bolster union jobs while tackling climate change and racial injustice – a wide ranging alternative to Republican proposals for stimulating the coronavirus-battered economy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Deb Haaland introduced the resolution called THRIVE (Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy), which so far has 83 congressional co-sponsors, including Senator Ed Markey and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, co-authors of the Green New Deal.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.