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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 22, 2020

Top Story

Aid Package Passes House

By  Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted December 22, 2020

Some industry and agricultural groups noted Monday specific provisions to support them. Ethanol producers had lost an estimated $4 billion early in the COVID-19 lockdowns when travel was halted. The bill spells out “that renewable fuel producers are eligible to receive COVID-19 emergency relief aid from USDA.” Funding from the bill can be used to “make payments to producers of advanced biofuel, biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, conventional biofuel, or renewable fuel … produced in the United States, for unexpected market losses as a result of COVID–19,” RFA stated. The bill also includes extensions of key renewable-fuel tax credits, including the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit. [ read more … ]

Year-end deal includes major energy, environment wins

By Geof Koss, Jeremy Dillon and Emma Dumain, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

While negotiators largely sidelined energy issues during months of stalled talks on COVID-19 relief, a number of significant energy and environmental provisions will hitch a ride on the year-end agreement passed yesterday. The bill contains $13 billion in agricultural assistance, with discretionary authority provided to the Agriculture secretary to support biofuels producers. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden’s Choice of Vilsack for U.S.D.A. Raises Fears for Small Farmers

By Alan Rappeport and Michael Corkery, New York Times  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

Soon after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. beat President Trump last month, Tom Vilsack, the former agriculture secretary and one of Mr. Biden’s early backers, received an exasperated call from a former aide. Despite the elation over Mr. Biden’s victory, Democrats were once again defeated resoundingly in rural America. If confirmed, Mr. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, will retake the helm of the Agriculture Department at a time when America’s farmers have been battered by Mr. Trump’s trade wars and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. [ read more … ]

Incoming EPA chief vows ‘sense of urgency on climate’

By Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

“Growing up as a child, hunting and fishing with my father and grandfather in eastern North Carolina, I developed a deep love and respect for the outdoors and our natural resources, but I also experienced respiratory issues that required me to use an inhaler on days when pollutants and allergens were especially bad,” said Regan during his introduction by President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del. There’s little question where the lung-searing pollution came from. The 382-megawatt H.F. Lee Plant was one of Duke Energy Corp.’s baseload coal burners. It spewed millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other criteria air pollutants every year since its opening in 1951. [ read more … ]

Granholm faces monumental DOE clean energy challenge

By Lesley Clark and Peter Behr, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

Joe Biden’s selection of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) as Energy secretary positions the department as a central driver of the president-elect’s efforts to bring U.S. power sector emissions to zero by 2035. Energy analysts warn that truly ambitious climate action will require legislation. But even if the Georgia Senate runoffs in January leave the U.S. Senate in Republican control, Granholm and the Department of Energy will still hold potentially powerful tools to drive a clean energy agenda, particularly on two fronts, analysts say. [ read more … ]

2020 Review

Ethanol’s 2020 Full of Bumps, Bruises in Fight to Maintain Business

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. Today, we continue the countdown with No. 9 looking at some of the challenges ethanol faced during 2020, including shutting down production as a result of COVID-19 and ongoing battles with the EPA on the small-refinery exemption program. [ read more … ]

Markets

Gas Pumps to Get Climate, Health Warning Labels in Cambridge, MA

By Sebastian Blanco, Car & Driver  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

The new labels in Massachusetts don’t suffer from the same wishy-washy message. They read: “Warning: Burning Gasoline, Diesel, and Ethanol has major consequences on human health and the environment including contributing to climate change.” And some activists in the U.K. have gone even further, placing thousands of warning labels on gas pumps without any official permission. [ read more … ]

New Trade Association

The new renewables group in town

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted December 21, 2020

Heather Zichal is hoping that with the new American Clean Power Association, the renewable energy industry can speak with one voice and become a bigger lobbying power in Washington, at a time when the incoming Biden administration will be looking for ways to boost clean energy. Zichal, who advised President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign and served as a top climate official in the Obama White House, joined the American Clean Power Association as its CEO earlier this month. The trade group, an expansion of the American Wind Energy Association, formally launches Jan 1. [ read more … ]

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