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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 15, 2020

Top Story

Covid-19 Relief Plan Splits Key Aid, Most Contentious Items

By Laura Litvan and Erik Wasso, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in that chamber and one of the negotiators, said state and local aid and liability are both “critically” important but said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should allow votes on the $748 billion consensus measure in coming days. He said the aid it contains is “desperately needed.” “This is our consensus bill. We all agree on it. It’s ready to go. There’s no excuse for either the speaker or the leader,” Durbin said at a press conference unveiling the bills. “You’ve got to give us a vote. Don’t let us go home for Christmas without a vote on this.” [ read more … ]

Momentum grows on Capitol Hill for economic relief package as bipartisan group releases two bills

By Jeff Stein, Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

The bipartisan group unveiled one $748 billion package that includes new unemployment benefits, small business aid and other programs that received broad bipartisan support. The second bill includes the two provisions most divisive among lawmakers — liability protections for firms and roughly $160 billion in aid for state and local governments — with the expectation that both could be excluded from a final deal to secure passage of the most popular provisions. This second bill could end up falling out of the final deal if lawmakers don’t rally around it amid broad opposition among Democrats to approving the liability shield. [ read more … ]

Ethanol demand is falling again: RFS says financial assistance is needed

By Ken Anderson, Brownfield  •    •  Posted December 14, 2020

Ethanol demand is falling again as the coronavirus surge reduces travel. Scott Richman, chief economist for the Renewable Fuels Association, says gasoline and ethanol consumption has fallen to its lowest point since May. “The last two to three weeks have been pretty troubling,” Richman says. “The amount of implied gasoline demand has really fallen to an uncomfortably low level. Thanksgiving week travel was far below a year ago and ethanol stocks have increased to their highest levels in month as well.” [ read more … ]

RFS

U.S. EPA aims for December for 2021 biofuel volume proposal

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 14, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now aiming for Dec. 31 as the point by which it will propose rules on the amount of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel mix next year, after missing a deadline last month to release the proposal. Under the adjusted timeline, the agency will aim to finalize the rule on the so-called Renewable Volume Obligations in June 2021, according to the agency’s agenda on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ website.
[ read more … ]

EPA Expects to Release Proposed RFS Volumes for 2021 by End of Year

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

The EPA is expected to release a proposed rule for the latest Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations by the end of December, with the volumes expected to be finalized in June, according to the agency’s fall unified agenda posted on the Office of Management and Budget’s website. Based on that schedule the renewable volume obligations for 2021 would be about seven months late. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Past GOP obstruction haunts Biden search for EPA chief

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 14, 2020

The last time a Democratic president nominated an EPA administrator, Republican senators stalled her confirmation for a record 136 days — and they didn’t even control the chamber. The travails of former EPA chief Gina McCarthy hang over President-elect Joe Biden as he considers his top energy and environment officials. Senate Republicans will have the power to block Biden’s nominees indefinitely unless Democrats sweep both of next month’s Georgia runoffs. [ read more … ]

Markets

Trade leaders advocate for reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Stephanie Hoff, WisBusiness  •    •  Posted December 14, 2020

“I think our withdrawal from TPP is one of the greatest strategic mistakes we’re making in the 21st century,” the La Crosse Dem and Ways and Means Committee member told a WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com virtual event yesterday. “I don’t think it’s going to be an out-of-the-block issue for Biden, but it’s one that we have to be considering and thinking long-term on.” Joe Biden was the vice president at the time TPP negotiations were taking place. President Trump withdrew from the TPP during his first week in office. Just last month, China moved forward on its own trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The U.S. was not part of the partnership.
[ read more … ]

EVs

Nordic States Set Electric-Planes Pace After Green-Cars Push

By Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 14, 2020

The Nordic region’s pace-setting push into green transport is set to extend from cars to the air-travel market. Iceland this month signaled plans to move toward carbon-free domestic flights by the end of the decade, while Sweden’s Heart Aerospace aims to deliver an electric plane specifically designed to ply routes linking remote Scandinavian settlements within six years. [ read more … ]

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