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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 15, 2020

Top Story

New Research Shows Disproportionate Rate of Coronavirus Deaths in Polluted Areas

By Lylla Younes, ProPublica, and Sara Sneath  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

COVID-19 can be made more serious — and, in some cases, more deadly — by a specific type of industrial emission called hazardous air pollutants, or HAPs, according to new peer-reviewed research by ProPublica and researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The study, published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found this association in both rural counties in Louisiana and highly populated communities in New York. The analysis examined air pollution and coronavirus deaths in the roughly 3,100 U.S. counties and found a close correlation between levels of hazardous pollutants and the per-capita death rate from COVID-19. [ read more … ]

Terry Branstad

With Tensions High, Trump’s Ambassador to China Is Stepping Down

By Steven Lee Myers, New York Times  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

The American ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, announced on Monday that he would step down in early October after a tenure that paralleled a sharp deterioration in relations between China and the United States. Mr. Branstad, who twice served as governor of Iowa and was a crucial early supporter of Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2016, arrived in Beijing in the summer of 2017 with high hopes of using a personal connection to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to build stronger ties. [ read more … ]

US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad stepping down as tensions with Beijing rise

By David Culver, Ben Westcott, Kylie Atwood and Kaitlan Collins, CNN  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

Terry Branstad will be stepping down as United States Ambassador to China after more than three years in Beijing, a source confirmed to CNN Monday. Branstad is expected to leave Beijing before the November US Presidential election, the source said. [ read more … ]

US ambassador to China to step down next month

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

The U.S. ambassador to China will step down early next month, ending a three-year tenure marked by a trade war and increasingly bitter relations between the world’s two largest economies. Terry Branstad, appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017, confirmed his decision in a phone call with Trump last week, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Monday. It did not give a reason for his departure. [ read more … ]

SREs

EPA Denies All Gap-Year RFS Waivers

By Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

The Trump administration made it official on Monday, announcing in an EPA news release that the agency will deny all pending gap-year small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2011-2018. “This decision follows President (Donald) Trump’s promise to promote domestic biofuel production, support our nation’s farmers, and in turn strengthen our energy independence,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Trump EPA sides with farmers over refiners in biofuel waiver decision

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

The Trump administration said on Monday it rejected scores of requests from U.S. oil refiners for waivers that would have retroactively spared them from their obligation to blend biofuels like ethanol into their fuel, delivering a win for farmers and a blow to the oil industry just ahead of the November presidential election. Reuters had reported last week that U.S. President Donald Trump, under the advice of his allies in the Midwest, ordered his Environmental Protection Agency to deny the waivers because they had become a lightning rod of controversy in the Farm Belt, an important political constituency. [ read more … ]

E15

Trump now backs higher-ethanol gas at pumps in move to court farm votes before November

By Rachel Koning Beals, Market Watch  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a boost to the ethanol industry as he courts farmers and biofuel producers in Midwestern swing states before the November election.
Trump has approved using existing filling station pumps to distribute higher-ethanol gasoline. “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

Brazil Extends Tariff-Rate Quota on Ethanol for 90 Days Starting Monday

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

The Brazilian government officially extended its tariff-rate quota on ethanol imports from the United States for 90 days as of Monday, after the Brazilians temporarily applied a 20% tariff on all U.S. imports on Sept. 1. Ethanol industry officials have been pressing President Donald Trump’s administration to normalize ethanol trade relations with Brazil. [ read more … ]

Markers

Global ethanol production will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 -U.S. Grains council

By Koustav Samanta, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

Global ethanol production is expected to be 20% lower this year as the market goes through the COVID-19 crisis, while recovery in output back to pre-pandemic levels will not be realized until 2022, a director for the U.S. Grains Council said on Tuesday. About 23 billion litres of ethanol production has been lost in 2020, which has shuttered more than 250 ethanol plants across the globe, Brian D. Healy, director of global ethanol market development,  U.S. Grains Council said at the Platts APPEC 2020 virtual conference. [ read more … ]

BP Says the Era of Oil-Demand Growth Is Over

By Rakteem Katakey, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 14, 2020

BP said the relentless growth of oil demand is over, becoming the first supermajor to call the end of an era many thought would last another decade or more. Oil consumption may never return to levels seen before the coronavirus crisis took hold, BP said in a report on Monday. Even its most bullish scenario sees demand no better than “broadly flat” for the next two decades as the energy transition shifts the world away from fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

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