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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 25, 2020

Top Story

Trump, eyeing Farm Country, starts working on ethanol industry’s year-old wishlist

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 24, 2020

President Donald Trump, looking to shore up support in the U.S. Farm Belt during a tight race for re-election, is taking steps to help producers of corn-based ethanol using a list of policy goals that a group of Midwest senators discussed with him a year ago, according to two sources familiar with the matter. On Sept. 12, 2019, Trump met with the senators, who were frustrated by the administration’s management of U.S. biofuels policy. They argued that Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency had been helping the oil industry at the expense of farmers dependent on ethanol sales, and presented him with a list of ways he could fix the problem, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
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Groups call on Trump administration to live up to RFS commitments

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 24, 2020

While the U.S. EPA’s recent denial of 54 gap year small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions was a positive step for the U.S. biofuels industry, representatives of the U.S. biofuel and ag industries are calling on the Trump administration to live up to its remaining biofuel commitments. Leaders of the Renewable Fuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association and National Farmers Union held a media call on Sept. 23 to discuss the gap year SRE petitions and other actions the Trump administration must take to fulfill the many commitments it has made to biofuel producers in recent years.
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Refineries prospects on ethanol waivers dwindle

By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted September 24, 2020

U.S. refineries have relied on waivers from the Trump administration to avoid a federal law requiring they blend billions of gallons of ethanol into their gasoline each year. But their ability to continue using the so-called small refinery exemption — awarded to smaller refineries that can prove financial harm from the mandate— is now falling into question.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would not award exemptions on more than 50 waiver applications. With roughly 50 applications pending, refineries have all but written off their hopes of getting further relief from the mandate. [ read more … ]


China Buying Spree Revives Export Profits for Top Crop Traders

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 25, 2020

The world’s largest agricultural commodity traders are making the most money in years exporting everything from soybeans to corn and wheat from American ports. And it’s mostly thanks to China. The Asian nation has been on a buying spree, snapping up record amounts of American corn and holding at the start of the season the biggest soybean-import commitments for the time of year in almost three decades. The rush to guarantee loading space — at a time when a key Gulf Coast terminal owned by Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. is offline — is sending export margins soaring. [ read more … ]


E.P.A. Rejects Its Own Findings That a Pesticide Harms Children’s Brains

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted September 24, 2020

The Trump administration has rejected scientific evidence linking the pesticide chlorpyrifos to serious health problems, directly contradicting federal scientists’ conclusions five years ago that it can stunt brain development in children. The Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of the pesticide, which is widely used on soybeans, almonds, grapes and other crops, is a fresh victory for chemical makers and the agricultural industry, as well as the latest in a long list of Trump administration regulatory rollbacks. [ read more … ]


California to phase out sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035

By Dino Grandoni, Faiz Siddiqui and Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 24, 2020

California, the world’s fifth-largest economy and the state that created U.S. car culture, will stop selling gasoline-powered automobiles within 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday.

Facing a record-breaking wildfire season as well as years of heat waves and droughts exacerbated by climate change, the Golden State is seeking to accelerate the shift away from combustion engines on its roads, which account for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other source. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe,” Newsom in announcing an executive order Wednesday. “You deserve to have a car that doesn’t give your kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air.” [ read more … ]

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