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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 16, 2020

Top Story

Trump’s China tariffs violate global trade rules, WTO says

By David J. Lynch, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

The World Trade Organization Tuesday struck at the core of President Trump’s trade war on China, ruling that the tariffs he imposed in 2018 on $234 billion worth of Chinese goods ran afoul of U.S. commitments under global trading rules. The ruling will have no immediate impact on U.S. customs officials’ ability to collect the import taxes from American importers, but it represents a diplomatic dent in the president’s “America First” approach. [ read more … ]

SREs

EPA rejects quota reductions in victory for corn farmers, ethanol producers

By Jim Spencer, Minnesota Star Tribune  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

In a major political and regulatory win for Minnesota’s corn farmers and ethanol producers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has refused to grant retroactive reductions in corn ethanol production quotas sought by many oil refiners. Waivers from government-mandated requirements to make certain amounts of ethanol have been at the center of a pitched, expensive battle between the corn and oil lobbies during much of the Trump administration. [ read more … ]

With rural voters’ support at risk, Trump administration backs most ethanol mandates

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will reject dozens of requests that would allow oil refiners to continue to reduce how much ethanol and biodiesel is blended into the nation’s fuel supply, the agency announced Monday. The move follows requests from Iowa lawmakers to President Donald Trump, asking his administration to stop granting hardship waivers to oil refiners. Renewable fuels groups warned the president last month that without action, he risked losing rural voters, a block vital to his reelection bid. [ read more … ]

In denial.

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

EPA denied dozens of requests from oil refineries seeking economic hardship exemptions from ethanol blending requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard dating from 2011 through 2018, adding to a growing list of ethanol-friendly moves from the administration. In his denial letter, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he rejected the 54 petitions largely on the advice of the Energy Department, which determined that the refineries did not suffer much hardship in the years in question. While the letter did mention a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruling from January that voided three refinery exemptions from the biofuel blending rules, Wheeler did not cite the court’s opinion as part of his reasoning. [ read more … ]

EPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

The Trump administration extended an olive branch to the ethanol industry Monday, announcing it has denied a number of waivers that exempt small refiners from adding the biofuel to their gasoline. The news comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chose not to challenge a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that found its economic hardship waiver program shortcut national goals for ethanol use.  [ read more … ]

E15

EPA to update E15 labels, clarify E10 pumps can distribute E15

By Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

President Trump on Sept. 12 posted a tweet stating that subject to state approval, the ethanol industry will be allowed to use E10 pumps to distribute E15. A statement released by the U.S. EPA on Sept. 14 explains that the agency “is moving to update E15 labels to ensure consumers have informed choices at the pump and clarify the ability of existing fuel infrastructure to support expanded E15 use. However, much of the responsibility regarding labels falls to state agencies, EPA encourages they update them as well and stands ready to support them.”
[ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

U.S. presidential candidate Biden rips Trump’s record on ethanol

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden late on Tuesday attacked President Donald Trump’s record on ethanol, saying his administration’s recent moves to help the industry were too little, too late and transparently political. Biden said in an exclusive statement to Reuters that the Trump administration’s announcement this week that it would reject requests from oil refiners for retroactive waivers exempting them from biofuel blending laws was not enough to outweigh several years of granting large numbers of such waivers – which biofuel producers say erode demand for their products. “Lip service 50 days before an election won’t make up for nearly four years of retroactive damage that’s decimated our trade economy and forced ethanol plants to shutter,” Biden’s statement said. [ read more … ]

Grassley: ‘Trump Takes RFS Exemptions Issue Off Political Table’

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, heard it repeatedly during his annual 99-county tour of his state: anger from farmers about President Donald Trump’s lack of action taken on small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The most recent DTN Ag Confidence Index found approval of Trump was still strong but waning in rural America. Grassley said during a Tuesday news conference with agricultural journalists, he believes the Trump campaign has done enough to win the rural vote when the EPA rejected 54 of 68 small-refinery exemptions on Monday. [ read more … ]

Wary of Biden win, drillers rush for permits

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

Drillers in the largest onshore U.S. oil and gas field are rushing to secure permits ahead of a potential Joe Biden presidency, analysts say, reflecting industry uncertainty about the November election. The Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president has proposed to effectively retire oil and gas development on federally managed lands over time, appealing to a climate-conscious left flank calling for an end to fossil fuel use. [ read more … ]

Trump on climate: ‘I don’t think science knows actually’

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

President Trump doubled down on his denial of climate change yesterday by saying that scientists are wrong and claiming that the world will “start getting cooler.” The remarks, delivered during a brief visit to California to discuss the state’s historic wildfires, run counter to mountains of research on global warming — including reports issued by his own administration [ read more … ]

Biden’s wildfire attacks signal new era of climate politics

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 15, 2020

Joe Biden stepped into the future of climate politics. The Democratic presidential nominee used a series of ongoing national disasters — worsened by climate change — to attack President Trump and tout his own energy agenda. Wildfires were still burning and storms were still raging when Biden delivered his climate remarks.
[ read more … ]

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