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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE October 21, 2020

Top Story

McConnell warns White House against making stimulus deal as Pelosi and Mnuchin inch closer

By Jeff Stein and Erica Werner, Washington Post  •    •  Posted October 21, 2020

Prospects for an economic relief package in the next two weeks dimmed markedly on Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed that he has warned the White House not to strike an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the Nov. 3 election. In remarks at a closed-door Senate GOP lunch, McConnell told his colleagues that Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not negotiating in good faith with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and that any deal they reach could disrupt the Senate’s plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next week. Republicans have voiced concerns that a stimulus deal could splinter the party and exacerbate divisions at a time when they are trying to rally behind the Supreme Court nominee. The comments were confirmed by three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss them. [ read more … ]

Stimulus Talks Continue as Clock Keeps Ticking

By  Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted October 21, 2020

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters Tuesday that the Senate was preparing to vote this week on an aid package that would have money for individuals, families, businesses and farmers. There is $20 billion in that package for USDA aid funding, Grassley said. Talks on a broader aid package continue between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on an aid package in the $2 trillion range. But the Washington Post reported Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is concerned those talks over a “big stimulus deal” could disrupt plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next week. [ read more … ]

Advance Biofuels

Iowa closes the books on once-promising renewable fuels plant in Emmetsburg; no repayment required

By Tyler Jett, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

Iowa officials have closed the books on an investment they once hoped would produce millions of gallons of ultra-green ethanol and millions of dollars in revenue for the state’s farmers. The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved a settlement with Poet DSM Advanced Biofuels on Friday, ending a contract of incentives that helped enable construction of a massive plant to produce cellulosic ethanol — a fuel produced from crop waste like corncobs, husks and stalks instead of from corn, which could be put to other uses. [ read more … ]

Markets

Facing wave of closures, oil refiners turn to biofuels

By Laura Sanicola, Reuters  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

European and U.S. oil refineries face a wave of closures due to plateauing fuel demand, tightening environmental rules and overseas competition, prompting some owners to opt for an easier alternative – converting plants to produce biofuels. The shock of the coronavirus epidemic crushed global oil demand and as some producers, including BP, say it might never recover to pre-crisis levels, the need to close refineries has accelerated. [ read more … ]

Conoco becomes first U.S. oil major to set net-zero target

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

ConocoPhillips announced plans yesterday to reach net-zero emissions from its operations by midcentury, making it the first American oil and gas major to adopt such a target. The Houston-based company said that with its acquisition of Concho Resources Inc., it will be the first U.S. oil and gas company to take on a strategy to “meet an operational [scope 1 and scope 2] net-zero emissions ambition by 2050” [ read more … ]

Report predicts growth in Brazilian corn ethanol production

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

Corn ethanol production in Brazil is expected to reach 2.5 billion liters (660.43 million gallons) during the 2020-’21 marketing year, according to a report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network on Oct. 8. According to the report, plentiful and cheap corn supplies in the west-central region of Brazil have attracted investment in the corn ethanol sector over the past few years. There are currently 16 corn ethanol plants in the country. At least four of those facilities are corn-only plants. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Farmers Stick With Trump, Despite Trade-War Pain

By Jacob Bunge, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

About two months into the Trump presidency, Ron Prestage clutched a shovel and grinned at a photographer on an Iowa cornfield. He had $309 million riding on 160 acres near the town of Eagle Grove, the site of a future pork plant that would help his family’s company, Prestage Farms Inc., tap surging U.S. exports. Just weeks after bulldozers began rolling, though, President Trump came within a pen stroke of upending Mr. Prestage’s plans, preparing to announce the termination of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trade battles with Mexico, Canada and China that followed cut into pork-producer profits in a three-year roller-coaster ride that threatened the Prestage family’s biggest-ever investment. [ read more … ]

EVs

GM to Plan Third Electric-Vehicle Plant in Big Plug-In Bet

By David Welch, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted October 20, 2020

General Motors Co. is expected to announce investments in several U.S. plants on Oct. 20, including a move that will make a former Saturn plant in Tennessee its third factory to produce electric models, said people familiar with the matter. GM plans to announce that it will build the first fully electric Cadillac — the Lyriqcrossover sport-utility vehicle — in Spring Hill, Tennessee. As part of the decision, GM will move the Acadia SUV in the future to a plant in Lansing, Michigan, said the people, who asked not to be named because the news is not yet public. GM will invest in other factories as well. [ read more … ]

 

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