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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 4, 2020

Top Story

Momentum builds for bipartisan $908 billion stimulus package as more GOP senators express support

By Jeff Stein, Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, Washinton Post  •    •  Posted December 4, 2020

With talks between congressional leaders stalled for months, a bipartisan group led by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Wva.) unveiled the compromise measure on Tuesday aimed to restart negotiations. The plan would devote close to $300 billion in another round of small business aid; $160 billion for state and local governments; fund federal unemployment benefits at $300 per week; and devote tens of billions of dollars to other priorities, such as childcare, hunger, and vaccine distribution. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Meet Biden’s Energy and Climate Cabinet Contenders

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 4, 2020

In November, Mr. Biden announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry, who made climate change a signature diplomatic issue during the Obama administration, will become an international “climate envoy.” Mr. Biden also intends to name a high level domestic policy adviser on climate change this month. But the agency heads, whose names will be announced in the coming days, will be the ones tasked to find a path around Congress with regulations that can cut planet-warming emissions and survive judicial review. [ read more … ]

Biden narrows list for top climate adviser

By Scott Waldman and Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s short list of candidates to serve as his domestic climate adviser is beginning to narrow, with three names coming up the most, according to multiple sources. Three participants in those discussions said Biden is focused on former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D); Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D); and Ali Zaidi, New York’s deputy secretary for energy and environment. Also in the running are John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff, and former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. [ read more … ]

Biden’s Environmental Lawyers Tasked With Bulletproofing Agenda

By Ellen M. Gilmer and Stephen Lee, Bloomberg Law  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

As President-elect Joe Biden begins naming his picks for powerful Cabinet positions, many environmental lawyers are turning their attention to a slate of lower-profile but influential legal roles that will shape the new administration’s work on pollution, climate change, and natural resources. Politically appointed lawyers at the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and Justice Department will play pivotal parts in the Biden administration, guiding policy choices, defending new regulations in court, and cracking down on violators. [ read more … ]

Companies maneuver to align with Biden on climate

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

Some major companies are angling to line up with the Biden administration on climate next year, as lawmakers and lobbyists gird for renewed policy fights in Washington. A big slice of corporate America — including utilities, banks and auto manufacturers — signed onto a statement yesterday calling on President-elect Joe Biden to work with Congress on “ambitious, durable, bipartisan climate solutions.” [ read more … ]

Markets

Oil Refineries See Profit in Turning Kitchen Grease Into Diesel

By Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

Many businesses are betting that electric and hydrogen-powered cars and trucks will play a critical role in the fight against climate change. But some oil companies are hoping that so will smelly restaurant grease and slaughterhouse waste. Companies that refine crude oil into fuel are increasingly using such putrid scraps to make a renewable version of diesel that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks, buses and industrial equipment without requiring families and businesses to invest in expensive new vehicles and factory gear. Phillips 66, Marathon, HollyFrontier and several other refiners are spending roughly $2 billion to retool refineries to produce the fuel over the next four years.
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Ethanol Blending Demand Slumps to Lowest Level in 24 Weeks

By DTN Staff  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

Total domestic ethanol inventories climbed to a 24-week high in the final week of November as implied demand fell below 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since June 12, the latest Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Dec. 2, show. Blending activity, a measure of demand, dropped 21,000 bpd to 792,000 bpd in the week ended Nov. 27, the lowest level since about mid-June while 12.2% lower than the same week in 2019, data show. Blending activity during the four weeks ended Nov. 27 averaged 813,000 bpd, 112,000 bpd below the comparable year-ago period. [ read more … ]

Sen. Chuck Grassley proposes 50% hike in oil, gas royalties on federal lands

By James Q. Lynch, The Gazette  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling for an end to an “outrageous giveaway” to oil and gas companies by raising the royalties they pay for oil and gas production on federal lands by 50 percent. The increase would end what the Iowa Republican calls an “unnecessary subsidy” to Big Oil by updating the royalties established in the century-old Mineral Leasing Act when automobiles had just started to replace the horse and buggy, and the oil industry relatively new. [ read more … ]

Fewer flex fuel vehicles offered

By Feedstuffs  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

While nearly all new 2021 automobiles are explicitly approved by the manufacturer to use E15 gasoline, far fewer models are being offered as flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of operating on fuel blends containing up to 85% ethanol, according to an annual analysis of vehicle owner’s manuals and warranty statements by the Renewable Fuels Association. [ read more … ]

North American farmers profit as consumers pressure food business to go green

By Karl Plume in Chicago and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 4, 2020

Beer made from rice grown with less water, rye planted in the off-season and the sale of carbon credits to tech firms are just a few of the changes North American farmers are making as the food industry strives to go green. The changes are enabling some farmers to earn extra money from industry giants like Cargill, Nutrien and Anheuser-Busch. Consumers are pressuring food producers to support farms that use less water and fertilizer, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use more natural techniques to maintain soil quality. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Oil and Gas Companies Keep Taking From Taxpayers. And Taking.

By Senator Tom Udall and Senator Charles Grassley, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 3, 2020

One hundred years ago, Congress passed the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, setting up a system in which companies lease public lands to wrest valuable oil and gas from the ground. In the century since, the royalties and rent that those corporations pay to the American people for access have remained essentially unchanged even as the scale of development and profits has grown hugely.
[ read more … ]

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