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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 17, 2020

Top Story

Joe Biden’s ethanol push to woo Iowa farmers sets up tension with environmentalists

By Alexandra Ellerbeck, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

President Trump and Joe Biden are both tripping over themselves to appeal to Iowa farmers in the final stretch of the 2020 race — by promising steadfast support for corn-based fuel.  
That’s a potentially risky political move at a time when the Democratic nominee is also trying to energize young voters passionate about climate change.  Many environmentalists blame federal policies aimed at supporting biofuels for a rapid expansion in agriculture over the past decade, a transformation they say destroyed delicate habitats and resulted in more emissions. [ read more … ]

Biden, Trump cast sharply different visions for biofuels

By Ben Nuelle, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both promise to increase usage of biofuels, but Trump is focused on expanding the market for conventional ethanol while Biden is prioritizing next-generation products that align more closely with his climate goals.  In his administration’s policy decisions and his campaign’s promises, Trump has focused on increasing the sale of conventional biofuels by easing restrictions on their distribution and subsidizing blender pumps and other infrastructure needs.  [ read more … ]

SREs

House Ag Plans Detailed to NFU

By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Political Correspondent  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday that the House will take up the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., just as the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the text of energy legislation that includes it. The House will vote on the energy legislation, Pelosi announced in an online presentation to the National Farmers Union, a Democratic-leaning farm group that is particularly strong in the Midwest. “I feel very blessed that Collin is leading our effort,” Pelosi said of Peterson, who is in a tight re-election race. The Environmental Protection Agency has been granting waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard to oil companies “when they shouldn’t,” Pelosi said. [ read more … ]

Some praise EPA ethanol waiver denials, others wary

By Raquel Martin, Nextstar  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

Biofuel producers are praising the Environmental Protection Agency’s promise to deny dozens of oil refineries’ requests to skip out on ethanol blending requirements. “We’ve had probably the worst year in the industry’s history,” Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said. “We were dealing with the impacts of these refinery waivers, some trade barriers … and then we get got hit with COVID-19.”
[ read more … ]

Letter urges EPA to comply with GOA investigation of SRE process

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

Seven federal lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Sept. 15 expressing disappointment with the agency’s failure to cooperate with the Government Accountability Office’s investigation into the small refinery exemption (SRE) wavier process. The investigation has been ongoing for several months. A dozen members of Congress, led by Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, in August 2019 asked U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro to open a GAO investigation to examine and review the EPA’s review and approval of SREs under the Renewable Fuel Standard, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s viability scores for the 40 SREs that had been reviewed to date for the 2018 compliance year. The lawmakers’ request came following reports that the EPA had disregarded the DOE’s SRE recommendations in at least one case. [ read more … ]

Trade

Ethanol industry disappointed with Brazil negotiations plan

By The Hagstrom Report  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

An agreement between the United States and Brazil to negotiate on market access for ethanol and sugar for 90 days that began Monday means that U.S. ethanol producers can export to Brazil without encountering tariffs during that period. But the agreement doesn’t have much meaning because it comes during a period when U.S. exports to Brazil are relatively low, according to a joint industry statement. [ read more … ]

Climate Cases

Mounting climate cases expand Big Oil’s legal battlefield

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

Climate lawsuits against the oil industry are popping up in courts across the country, and experts see this month’s succession of new filings from state and local officials as a sign of more to come. Environmental advocates often compare the growing body of climate misinformation suits to litigation against the tobacco industry, which eventually forced four major cigarette companies to amend their advertising campaigns and shell out more than $206 billion over 25 years to 46 states, five territories and the District of Columbia under the terms of a 1998 master settlement agreement. [ read more … ]

EVs

EV Hummer’s hook for buyers: ‘Crab mode’

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

General Motors Co. will reveal next month its electric Hummer, a new, battery-powered version of the once-popular truck capable of driving diagonally in a bid to lure off-roaders into the EV market. The company released a teaser video for the Hummer yesterday that promoted the vehicle’s “crab mode” diagonal feature, “enabled by the GMC Hummer EV’s four-wheel steering capability,” the company said. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

‘It’s a setback.’ Trump’s climate denials worry Republicans

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 16, 2020

The Republican Party has spent several years crafting a climate message that moves the GOP away from its denier past. President Trump blew that apart this week. As fires rage along the West Coast and Hurricane Sally threatens to pound the South, Trump openly embraced conspiracy theories that reject basic tenets of climate science. [ read more … ]

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