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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 15, 2020

Top Story

Mnuchin says new economic relief deal unlikely before election, although talks with Pelosi continue

By Erica Werner and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that a new economic relief bill is unlikely before the election, suggesting that Democrats are unwilling to give President Trump a victory. “I’d say at this point getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult, just given where we are,” Mnuchin said during an event hosted by the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. [ read more … ]

SREs

Supreme Court Nominee Barrett Questioned on Environmental Laws

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

While much of the questioning of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett during a second day of hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee centered on social issues, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, asked Barrett about how she would approach environmental cases including the Renewable Fuel Standard. In particular, Ernst brought up the legal challenges related to the small-refinery exemption program in the RFS and to the waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule from 2015. Barrett responded, “Well, I think that the courts role in reviewing the lawfulness of agency action it’s largely governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the way that agencies can do their business and outlines what their authority can be. [ read more … ]

EPA drags feet on remaining small refinery exemption requests

By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

The EPA recently denied 54 so-called “gap year” small refinery exemption requests, but Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield the agency is still considering 31 petitions for 2019 and a couple for 2020. “We just need EPA and this Administration to adopt that 10th Circuit Court decision from all the way back in January, and that would finally put an end to these exemptions that have eroded the requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. [ read more … ]

House rivals find common ground: Hating biofuel waivers

By Marc Heller, E&E Reporter  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa and her Republican challenger, former Rep. David Young, took turns last night bashing EPA for allowing some petroleum refineries to sidestep biofuel mandates. In a debate that otherwise showed division on health care policy, taxes and other issues, the biofuel question appeared to unite the candidates on a topic that’s sensitive in the nation’s top ethanol-producing state. [ read more … ]

Markets

Company Advances Ethanol Diesel Engine

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

A start-up company developing a heavy-duty truck engine able to run on straight ethanol has reached a milestone in a series of tests performed to validate its technology. ClearFlame Engine Technologies reported in a news release on Wednesday it matched the torque and power of a commercial diesel engine using ethanol in place of diesel. The company said the technology delivered 500 horsepower and more than 2,500 foot-pounds of torque, “while eliminating the need for additional aftertreatment such as selective catalytic reduction or diesel particulate filter systems.” [ read more … ]

OPEC Says U.S. Oil Production Recovering Faster Than Expected

By David Hodari, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

The U.S. energy industry is recovering more quickly than previously expected from the fall in production from the coronavirus pandemic, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday. In its monthly report, OPEC softened its forecast for the amount by which non-OPEC oil supply will decline this year by 300,000 barrels a day. Production from outside the cartel is now seen falling by 2.4 million barrels a day, or 3.6% from last year’s levels. [ read more … ]

Energy association drops ‘petroleum’ from name

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

A trade group for filling-station owners dropped the word “petroleum” from its name this week, citing its growing portfolio of alternative energy sources and liquid fuels. The Energy Marketers of America, formerly the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, will continue to lobby for policies that boost gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil, but also plans to advocate for research on biofuels and engine efficiency, according to a fact sheet. It’s also pushing for federal funding to reduce emissions from legacy diesel engines and funding for the National Oilheat Research Alliance, which focuses on efficiency and sustainability for the heating oil industry. [ read more … ]

ADM-Green Plains Case

Venue at Issue in Ethanol Market Case

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska has stayed proceedings in a lawsuit alleging ethanol market manipulation by Archer Daniels Midland, pending a motion to change venue in the case. Omaha-based Green Plains Inc. filed a class-action lawsuit in the court in July alleging ADM conducted a scheme to illegally depress the ethanol cash spot market.
[ read more … ]

Biogenic Emissions

Senators urge EPA to promulgate rule on biogenic carbon emissions

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

A group of 14 senators sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Oct. 12 urging the agency to promulgate a rulemaking that recognizes the de minimis character of biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural feedstocks used to make food, fuel, beverages or bioproducts. According to the letter, the Biogenic CO2 Coalition submitted a petition to EPA on Sept. 9 requesting such a rulemaking. “Moving forward on this request would provide clarity for key stakeholders and align EPA policy with the biogenic emissions standards,” the senators wrote. [ read more … ]

EVs

Corn farmers concerned California EV push will sink ethanol sales

By Bengt Halvorson, Green Car Reports  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

Farmers are reportedly worried about the effect an accelerated transition to electric vehicles—such as California’s recently announced ban on gas-vehicle sales by 2035—might have on an already fragile U.S. market for corn ethanol.  The Trump administration funneled what the New York Times described Monday as “an extraordinary government bailout” to farmers amounting to $46 billion in subsidies and federal payouts ahead of Election Day—a move that may help farmers make up for losses from trade wars, uneven policy, and the pandemic.  [ read more … ]

‘Breakthrough in performance’: Battery charges in 10 minutes

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

An electric vehicle that charges nearly as fast as it takes to fill a conventional car with gasoline may be closer to reality, according to a new study. Researchers have developed a lithium-ion EV battery that takes less than 10 minutes to achieve a maximum charge lasting for more than 300 miles, according to the research published last week in Science. Most EVs on the market today take about one hour or more to fully recharge. [ read more … ]

Europe can win EV race if it learns from China — report

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted October 14, 2020

Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing at such a pace that the continent looks increasingly likely to outpace China in the near future. That’s one of the findings of a report released yesterday by London-based automotive research firm Jato Dynamics. However, it found that Europe and the U.S. still have a few things to learn from China, the world’s biggest EV market, including prioritizing affordability, centralizing planning, and using data to better understand consumers. [ read more … ]

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