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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 16, 2020

Top Story

Congressional leaders meet, cite progress in spending and stimulus talks

By Mike DeBonis, Seung Min Kim and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 16, 2020

Congressional negotiations on spending and economic relief legislation picked up speed on Tuesday, as top lawmakers met for an hour in the afternoon and then again in the evening, a sign that talks are reaching a critical stage. Negotiators expressed optimism after hours of meetings, although they revealed few details about the nature of the talks. McCarthy said late Tuesday evening that negotiations were going “really well.” McConnell cited “significant progress” in talks later Tuesday evening as well. “I think we’re close. … I think we’ve built a lot of trust. I think we’re moving in the right direction; I think there’s a possibility of getting it done,” McCarthy said late Tuesday evening. “So we’re finalizing out, see if it’s possible.”
[ read more … ]

Exclusive: Congress reaches compromise on clean energy deal to be attached to government funding bill

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

House and Senate leaders have agreed to include a suite of clean energy innovation measures in a year-end omnibus spending bill to be introduced as soon as tomorrow. A bipartisan energy package hitched to the spending bill, seen by the Washington Examiner, includes provisions to boost technologies such as advanced nuclear power, energy storage, carbon capture utilization, and direct air capture. [ read more … ]

RFS

OMB updates timelines for 2021 RFS, E15 label rules

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

Information released by the White House Office of Management and budget indicates the a proposed rule to set 2021 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard could be released soon. A rulemaking is also underway to alter E15 labeling requirements. The OMB on Dec. 9 published its Fall 2020 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides updated timelines for U.S. EPA regulatory actions of interest to the biofuel and bioenergy industries, including those related to the RFS and E15 labeling requirements.  
[ read more … ]

The Transition

Claims of ‘Bleak’ Environmental Justice Record Appear to Fell a Biden Favorite

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

When Joseph R. Biden, Jr. won the presidential election, his top candidate to lead the nation’s most powerful environmental agency appeared clear: Mary D. Nichols, California’s clean air regulator and arguably the country’s most experienced climate change official, was seen as a lock to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Now Mr. Biden’s team is scrambling to find someone else, according to several people who have spoken with the presidential transition team. The chief reason: This month, a group of more than 70 environmental justice groups wrote to the Biden transition charging that Ms. Nichols has a “bleak track record in addressing environmental racism.”
[ read more … ]

Gina McCarthy emerges as top choice for climate adviser

By Scott Waldman and Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden wants his climate adviser to be a Washington combat veteran. And it’s looking increasingly likely his warrior will be former EPA chief Gina McCarthy. McCarthy has emerged as the top candidate for a domestic climate adviser position that would manage the administration’s global warming work across multiple agencies, two sources close to the transition talks said. If selected, McCarthy would focus on domestic climate policy, while former Secretary of State John Kerry would serve as international climate envoy. [ read more … ]

Former Google Executive Eyed as Biden Nears Climate Team Picks

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is nearing decisions on the team of officials who will chart his environmental and energy policy, as transition advisers home in on government veterans who can move aggressively to drive his clean-energy agenda. The candidates include former EPA chief Gina McCarthy and onetime Googleexecutive Arun Majumdar as well as Senator Tom Udall and North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan, according to people familiar with the matter. [ read more … ]

Market

Green Plains Sells Texas Plant for $39 Million

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted December 16, 2020

Omaha-based Green Plains Inc., continues its divestment from the ethanol industry, announcing on Tuesday it has sold its 100-million-gallon plant in Hereford, Texas, to Hereford Ethanol Partners, L.P. According to a news release from the company the plant sold for $39 million. [ read more … ]

Brazil does not see U.S. retaliation after end of tariff-free ethanol quota

By Roberto Samora, Marcelo Teixeira and Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted December 16, 2020

Brazil’s sugar and ethanol lobby group Unica said on Tuesday it does not expect the United States to retaliate after the Brazilian government did not renew a tariff-free ethanol import quota that was almost entirely used by U.S. producers. The tariff-free ethanol import quota, for 187.5 million litters of ethanol, expired on Monday. A Brazilian government source said last week that talks between the two countries for the quota’s renewal did not progress. [ read more … ]

Brazil applies 20% tariff to ethanol imports from US

By S&P Global  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

All US ethanol imports into Brazil now face a 20% tariff, following the expiration Dec. 14 of a Brazilian quota allowing for tariff-free imports of 187,500 cu m of US product. Market participants were not expecting a second renewal of the quota market, issued Sept. 14, mainly due to the new international political scenario and uncertainties about an extension of the Brazilian sugar quota into US, an old request from the Brazilian Northeast producers. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Opinion: The Secret to Clean Air is No Secret. It’s Ethanol.

By John Linder, NCGA President  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

Ethanol has proven it can decarbonize our liquid fuel supply and deliver greater environmental benefits. A 2019 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis showed that ethanol results in up to 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gasoline. The analysis went on to find that continued improvements in farming practices and ethanol production would result in ethanol with up to 70 percent fewer GHG emissions. Looking ahead, through expanded use of carbon capture technologies and accounting for soil carbon sequestration from corn production, ethanol has the potential to achieve net zero carbon emissions. [ read more … ]

EVs

Toyota’s Solid-State Battery Prototype Could Be an EV Game Changer

By Aaron Gold, Motor Trend  •    •  Posted December 15, 2020

Imagine an electric car battery that provides more than 300 miles of range, charges in approximately ten minutes, requires no bulky heating and cooling systems, maintains 80 percent of its charge capacity for 800 cycles (about 240,000 miles), and isn’t prone to spontaneous combustion. Such is the promise of the solid-state car battery, a holy grail that automakers and manufacturers are racing to find. Now, Toyota announced it’ll have a running prototype with a solid-state battery ready by next year. [ read more … ]

 

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