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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 21, 2020

Top Story

Senate majority leader announces approximately $900 billion deal on emergency relief package

By Jeff Stein and Mike DeBonis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

Senate leadership announced a bipartisan deal on an approximately $900 billion economic relief package late Sunday afternoon that would deliver emergency aid to a faltering economy and a nation besieged by surging coronavirus cases. After months of contentious negotiations and seemingly intractable partisan gridlock, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer took to the Senate floor to say that a deal had been finalized and could be quickly approved. [ read more … ]

RFS

EPA: 66 SRE petitions now pending

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

The U.S. EPA released updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on Dec. 17, reporting that five additional SRE petitions have been filed with the agency seeking exemptions of Renewable Fuel Standard blending requirements. The status of three other SRE petitions appear to have been changed from “denied” to “pending.” A total of 66 SREs are now listed as pending, up from 58 as of Nov. 19. The five newly filed SRE petitions are all for RFS compliance year 2020, increasing the number of pending petitions for that compliance year from nine as of Nov. 19 to 14 as of Dec. 17. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Farm groups react to EPA nomination of Michael Regan

By Larry Lee, Brownfield  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

Brian Jennings with the American Coalition for Ethanol tells Brownfield they really don’t know much about Regan, but he’s hopeful the change in direction at EPA will resolve the renewable fuels issues of the past two administrations. “Under President Trump, we’ve seen brazen abuse of the Small Refinery Exemption provision of the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) and so, yeah, we’re ready to turn the page.” [ read more … ]

Ag and ethanol groups ask Biden for help at home and overseas

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

The ethanol industry, which says it has lost $3.8 billion in sales since March due to the pandemic, is increasingly looking to the Biden administration for relief at the same time that farm groups want the new president to resolve the trade war with China. But a Purdue University professor said it was unlikely that President Biden, when he takes office on Jan. 20, will immediately undertake broad-scale trade reform, pointing out that “he has other priorities that take precedence.” [ read more … ]

Industry looks to Vilsack for pandemic relief

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

Still smarting from the COVID-19 pandemic, biofuel producers getting little help from Congress are shifting their focus to the presumptive incoming Agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack. An unfolding COVID-19 assistance measure on Capitol Hill won’t contain targeted assistance to biofuel producers that have struggled from falling demand, industry sources said. But funds directed toward the Department of Agriculture could be used for that purpose — if USDA’s leadership wishes. “We believe Vilsack would be more inclusive,” the president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, said in a conference call with reporters. [ read more … ]

Markets

SCALE Act could help ethanol plants transport CO2 to customers

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

Reps. Marc Veasey, D-Texas; David McKinley, R-W.V.; Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; and Pete Stauber, R-Minn., on Dec. 16 introduced the Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act, which supports the buildout of the infrastructure necessary to transport CO2 from where it is captured to where it can be utilized in manufacturing or safely and securely sequestered underground.
The bill would establish a carbon-to-value research, development and demonstration center to support RD&D of advanced fuels, chemicals, and materials produced form carbon oxide emissions. It would also authorize the U.S. Department of Energy to provide grants to states and municipalities for procuring carbon utilization products for infrastructure projects. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Dear Mr. President-Elect

By National Farmers Union  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

As farmers and former National Farmers Union presidents who share your dedication to combating the climate crisis, we offer our congratulations on your victory this November, and we look forward to working with you and your administration to revitalize rural America and advance U.S. climate leadership on the world stage. We also write to express our sincere hope that your administration will blaze a new trail in harnessing the power of U.S. agriculture to protect our planet for future generations. [ read more … ]

EVs

Toyota’s Chief Says Electric Vehicles Are Overhyped

By Peter Landers, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted December 20, 2020

Toyota  Motor Corp.’s leader criticized what he described as excessive hype over electric vehicles, saying advocates failed to consider the carbon emitted by generating electricity and the costs of an EV transition. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a fleet consisting entirely of EVs would cost Japan between ¥14 trillion and ¥37 trillion, the equivalent of $135 billion to $358 billion, he said.
[ read more … ]

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