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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 29, 2020

Top Story

Economic relief talks between White House, Pelosi suddenly resume as House Democrats make new offer

By Erica Werner, Washington Post  •    •  Posted September 29, 2020

The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) resumed discussions over a possible economic relief bill as Democrats offered a $2.2 trillion package and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin immediately engaged in talks. Democrats described their new offer as an updated version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May, which the White House and Senate Republicans dismissed as far too costly. Senate Republicans and Mnuchin have also said $2.2 trillion is too much to spend, but Mnuchin has said he is open to negotiations. It was not immediately clear whether the talks would bear fruit or whether Democratic leaders would use the bill to provide political cover for moderate House Democrats, who have grown increasingly anxious over Congress’s recent inaction on pandemic relief legislation. [ read more … ]

Covid Relief Aid

RFA: New University Study on COVID-19 Impacts Underscores Need for Emergency Aid

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

As Congress and the administration continue negotiations on another potential COVID-19 relief package, a new study by university economists finds that ethanol producers will experience roughly $8 billion in losses this year due to the pandemic’s impact on world fuel markets. The study, conducted by economists from the University of Florida and Arizona State University, was published recently in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization. “The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a major negative impact on U.S. ethanol, gasoline, and oil prices and production,” the authors found. “COVID-19 has had a major impact on ethanol production. The producer loss due to COVID-19 is $7 billion.” [ read more … ]

Perdue says hands are tied on direct pork and biofuels aid

By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

Ag Secretary Perdue is awaiting direction from Congress as USDA considers how to respond to pork and biofuel sector requests related to COVID-19. During a webinar hosted by Minnesota Farm Bureau Thursday, Perdue was asked about relief for pig farmers who depopulated healthy animals and ethanol plants suffering with fewer drivers on the road. “We had some provisions in our EQUIP program over depopulation, but we were not able to do what the requests were. Nor in the ethanol and biofuels industry at all from a processing perspective.” [ read more … ]

SREs and RFS

RFS rule in court, chapter 2019

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

The D.C. Circuit on Friday hosted the annual legal rite: a challenge to EPA’s blending mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard, with this round focusing on the rule governing 2019 requirements. Biofuel producers argued that rule should have added additional ethanol volumes to account for the exemptions EPA granted small refiners facing economic hardship, while refiners contended that EPA’s mandate came in too high. Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan and Judges Judith Rogers and Merrick Garland asked refiners few questions of any kind, but they did press the biofuel producers and the government on whether EPA’s decision not to reallocate the volumes back when those refinery exemptions began in 2011 could still be challenged. [ read more … ]

The Outlook for the World’s Largest Biofuels Market

By Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

The U.S. is the world’s largest biofuels market. Bolstered by more than a decade of supportive policy, almost one in every ten barrels of road fuel consumed in the U.S. is biofuel. Yet the growth potential of conventional biofuels is limited, and there is a growing need for biofuel producers and policymakers alike to adapt to changing demand dynamics. Biofuels can contribute to the decarbonization pathway for hard-to-abate sectors such as aviation. [ read more … ]

Supreme Court

How Barrett confirmation could cement Trump energy rules

By Jennifer Hijazi and Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

“If you look at what Trump has done on NEPA regulations, ACE, WOTUS, they are doing rulemakings that don’t push the envelope, [they are] narrow interpretations of law that I think the court would actually be sympathetic to,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, referring to the National Environmental Policy Act, EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule and the “Waters of the U.S.” rule. [ read more … ]

Markets

Pandemic closures, bankruptcies rattle refining towns

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

The future of the oil and gas industry arrived suddenly in Gallup, N.M. Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced in August it was closing its 27,000-barrel oil refinery just outside the small town in northwestern New Mexico. More than 200 full-time workers and dozens of contractors are expected to lose their jobs this fall. That could have a lasting effect in Gallup, which has a population of about 22,000. The refinery was a big contributor to local charities, and the good-paying jobs helped support restaurants and businesses in the town’s historic business district on Route 66. Marathon is already offering to relocate some of its workers. [ read more … ]

EVs

Report urges U.S. to build EVs to counter China

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

A new report asks American political leaders to adopt a comprehensive plan to produce electric and automated vehicles to protect jobs and fend off a strategic threat from China. The report was published late last week by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a group of corporate executives and ex-military commanders that has long advocated reducing reliance on oil as a security issue. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Fact-Checking President Trump’s Ethanol And Oil Production Claims

  •    •  Posted September 28, 2020

This week at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida, President Trump made a puzzling claim. Near the end of a story about Kamala Harris, Trump said “The great state of Iowa — where I made ethanol possible for them…” I can’t even begin to understand what that means, but let’s review some ethanol history. [ read more … ]

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