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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 11, 2020

Top Story

Economic relief talks in disarray as congressional bickering intensifies

By Mike DeBonis and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

Congressional bickering over a new economic relief package escalated Thursday as lawmakers traded blame and put negotiations over critical legislation on the brink of collapse. And the finger-pointing even threatened to imperil a must-pass spending bill in the Senate, as lawmakers were still unsure whether they would be able to pass a measure by a deadline Friday night to avert a government shutdown.
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RFS

Trump administration argues against refiners’ biofuel petition

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

The Trump administration has argued against a petition from oil refiners asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that undermined the legitimacy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s biofuel waiver program. Department of Justice officials said the court should not review the case as it does not conflict with any other Supreme Court or appeals court decision, according to the brief submitted on Dec. 8. The officials argued that the court could review the decision after a similar case is completed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. [ read more … ]

EPA, DOJ Oppose Refiner Request for Supreme Court Review of Tenth Circuit Decision on RFS Exemptions

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

In a filing submitted yesterday, the Department of Justice recommended against Supreme Court review of the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling earlier this year that invalidated several small refinery exemptions issued by EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The DOJ filing is in response to a petition submitted in September by HollyFrontier Corporation and CVR Energy, in which the oil refiners ask the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s January decision. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Vilsack Tapped for Ag Secretary

By  Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

Despite criticism from Black leaders and progressives, President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that his administration will nominate Tom Vilsack to return to USDA as Agriculture secretary. Biden’s transition team announced multiple cabinet posts on Thursday, including naming Katherine Tai as nominee for U.S. Trade ambassador and Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Also named were Denis McDonough as secretary of Veteran Affairs and former Ambassador Susan Rice as director of the Domestic Policy Council. [ read more … ]

What Biden’s pick to run the USDA can do on climate change

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

In the four years since Vilsack’s first stint at the department, increasingly intense fires have scorched western forests — including woodlands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, a USDA agency — while farmers continue to face a heightened threat of drought and other changes in weather patterns as temperatures climb.  “This was not necessarily a focus at the department a decade ago,” said Sasha Mackler, director of the energy project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank. [ read more … ]

Markets

The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine could hurt the dairy and cheese industries due to an increase in dry ice demand

By M.Hall, Business Insider  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

Dry ice, the colloquial term for frozen carbon dioxide, is commonly used in the food industry to keep ingredients at a low temperature for cross-country travel. A block of dry ice has a temperature of about -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or -78 degrees Celsius – much colder than the average freezer or a standard ice cube made of water. Supplies of dry ice are now in high demand as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is set to begin around the United States. Pfizer, a pharmaceutical corporation, is expected to have the first coronavirus vaccine cleared by US regulators. Unlike most vaccines however, Pfizer’s is required to be shipped and stored at -70 degrees Celcius.  [ read more … ]

Ethanol Overproduction Hurting Margins as Domestic Demand Falls

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

An ongoing ethanol industry recovery is fueling a decline in plant margins, as domestic ethanol supplies continue to expand and demand erodes. As a result, DTN’s hypothetical 50-million-gallon ethanol plant is reporting deeper losses as the price of corn continues to rise and ethanol prices fall. The amount of travel during the holidays will be a key factor in whether more companies decide to cut production.
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EIA: Ethanol Stocks at 27-Week High as Demand Hits 25-Week Low

By DTN Staff  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

Total domestic ethanol inventories climbed to a 27-week high in early December as implied demand eroded further, the latest Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Dec. 9, show. Blending activity, a measure of demand, tumbled 37,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 755,000 bpd in the week ended Dec. 4, the lowest level since the last week of May while 12% lower than the same week in 2019, data show. Blending activity during the four weeks ended Dec. 4 averaged 793,000 bpd, 112,000 bpd below the comparable year-ago period.
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EVs

An all-EV government fleet? It’s possible, report says

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 10, 2020

Washington state could electrify almost all of its 56,000 public vehicles by 2035, according to a new study that might have lessons for the incoming Biden administration. The analysis found that some vehicles are already affordable for governments or soon will be, like buses, light sedans and garbage trucks. Other types, like heavy pickup trucks, could take a lot longer to fit into state and local budgets, based on the study led by the Atlas Public Policy research group. [ read more … ]

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