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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 18, 2020

Top Story

Closing In on Stimulus Deal, Lawmakers Clash Over Fed’s Role

By Emily Cochrane and Jeanna Smialek,, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 18, 2020

As lawmakers pushed to finalize a roughly $900 billion stimulus deal, congressional leaders remained divided on Thursday over a handful of issues whose outcome could help determine the course of a sputtering economic recovery. Democrats were mounting a last-ditch effort to provide emergency aid to states, which they argued was critical to helping governments weather the pandemic and avoid huge layoffs and cuts in services that could reverberate through the economy. Republicans were working to limit the power of the Federal Reserve to provide credit to businesses, municipalities or other institutions in the future, both by rescinding money earmarked to support Fed lending programs and preventing the central bank from restarting them using different funds. [ read more … ]

RFA: Ethanol industry needs COVID-19 relief

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

The Renewable Fuels Association on Dec. 16 said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely continue to negatively impact the U.S. ethanol industry well into 2021. The group, however, expressed optimism in working with the upcoming Biden administration. Representatives of the RFA discussed the impact of the pandemic, the need for COVID-19 relief, and several policy initiatives during a media call held Dec. 16.
[ read more … ]

RFS

Small Refineries Wage RFS Waiver Battle

By  Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted December 18, 2020

A farmers cooperative that previously has received small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard is the latest refining company to sue the EPA for its denial of a request for retroactive exemptions. CountryMark cooperative operates in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. Most of its customers at more than 100 retail stations are farmers and rural communities that have benefitted from the commodities markets bolstered by the Renewable Fuel Standard since 2005. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden Favors Regan for EPA

By  Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted December 18, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will select North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, Michael Regan, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency at a time when the next EPA chief will play a major role in the future of biofuels. While no official word was released, several news organizations reported Regan as the nominee for EPA, followed by Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., as nominee for Interior secretary. [ read more … ]

Biden picks top North Carolina environmental official to run EPA

By Brady Dennis, Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will choose to nominate Michael S. Regan, who heads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, as the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator, according to two individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it has not yet been formally announced. He would play a central role in realizing Biden’s promises to combat climate change, embrace green energy and address environmental racism. As administrator of the EPA, he would be responsible for crafting fuel-efficiency standards for the nation’s cars and trucks, overseeing emissions from power plants and oil and gas facilities, and cleaning up the country’s most polluted sites. [ read more … ]

Biden taps N.M. Rep. Deb Haaland for Interior secretary

By Michael Doyle, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland (D) to serve as Interior secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, the 60-year-old avowedly progressive lawmaker will be the first Native American to head the sprawling department whose responsibilities range from tribal affairs to the management of some 500 million acres of public land. A member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, Haaland has posted a green record during her single House term representing an Albuquerque-based congressional district. She was comfortably reelected last month 58% to 42%.
[ read more … ]

Biden’s Twin Climate Chiefs, McCarthy and Kerry, Face a Monumental Task

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

One of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s loftiest campaign pledges was to reimagine the federal government to enforce new climate policies everywhere he can, while reclaiming the global climate leadership role abandoned by President Trump — objectives with few precedents and many barriers. His choice this week of Gina McCarthy to lead a new White House office on climate policy firms up his strategy for achieving them, both domestically and on the world stage. [ read more … ]

Brazil

Brazil Tariff Decision ‘Devastating’ For US Ethanol

By Cindy Zimmerman, AgWired  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

Brazil’s decision to impose a 20 percent tariff on all U.S. ethanol imports is devastating for the U.S. ethanol industry, according to organizations that work to promote ethanol exports. The leadership of the Renewable Fuels Association, U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and the National Corn Growers Association say the action jeopardizes the future of cooperation and coordination between the U.S and Brazil and “marks a dramatic turn in our bilateral trade relationship.” [ read more … ]

US ethanol groups decry Brazil for reimposing 20% tariff

By Bill Tomson, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

U.S. ethanol and corn groups are irate over Brazil’s issuance of a 20% tariff on American ethanol following a breakdown in talks between the two countries. “Brazil’s decision to impose a 20% tariff on all U.S. ethanol imports is devastating for the U.S. ethanol industry, the future of cooperation and coordination between our nations,” the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association and National Corn Growers Association, said in a statement released Wednesday. “Not only does this decision risk destroying the great progress our two nations have made as global leaders in ethanol production, it marks a dramatic turn in our bilateral trade relationship.” [ read more … ]

Markets

Inslee unveils climate proposals ahead of full budget plan

By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Tuesday announced several climate-related proposals for the next legislative session, including fully reinstating a plan to cap carbon pollution in the state. “We can fight climate change, and we can create good-paying jobs by transitioning to a cleaner energy economy,” Inslee said at a news conference announcing his plan. “We know these actions are required now. We cannot kick this can down the road anymore.” [ read more … ]

EVs

This Is the Dawning of the Age of the Battery

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 17, 2020

The lithium-ion battery that billions of people carry daily in their mobile phones is a Nobel Prize-winning scientific achievement. We’ve been living in the age of the lithium-ion battery ever since the 1990s via our camcorders, laptops, smart watches, and drones. In the last decade, these little batteries have started to transform the transport and electricity sectors as surely as they did consumer electronics. New data shows how far batteries have come in a short time, and hint at how much further they’ll go. [ read more … ]

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