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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 7, 2021

Top Story

For first time in 5 years, U.S. gas mileage down, emissions up

By Tom Krisher, Associated Press  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

A new government report says gas mileage for new vehicles dropped and pollution increased in model year 2019 for the first time in five years. The mileage increase comes as Americans continue to buy SUVs and trucks, and shift away from more efficient vehicles. EPA says the changes show that few automakers could meet what it called unrealistic emissions and mileage standards set by the Obama administration through the 2020 model year. But environmental groups say that automakers used loopholes and stopped marketing fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles knowing that the Trump administration was about to roll back mileage and pollution standards. [ read more … ]

Emissions

A Plan Made to Shield Big Tobacco From Facts Is Now E.P.A. Policy

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Nearly a quarter century ago, a team of tobacco industry consultants outlined a plan to create “explicit procedural hurdles” for the Environmental Protection Agency to clear before it could use science to address the health impacts of smoking. President Trump’s E.P.A. has now embedded parts of that strategy into federal environmental policy. On Tuesday Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the E.P.A., formally released a new regulation that favors certain kinds of scientific research over others in the drafting of public health rules. [ read more … ]

Capitol Riot

Perdue, Ag Groups React to Violent Disruption of Democracy

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted January 8, 2021

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in Georgia on Thursday that he had not talked with any other Cabinet members about invoking the 25th Amendment, despite calls from Congress and others to remove President Donald Trump from office. “I’ve had no contact with other Cabinet members in that area,” Perdue said. “Nor do I expect to have any.” [ read more … ]

Business leaders once allied with Trump now condemn him for stoking violence

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

A bevy of energy business interests in Washington who once cheered on President Trump’s agenda are now blaming him for stoking rhetoric that led to a pro-Trump mob violent storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.  Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said he found the footage of rioters breaking into the Capitol and clashing with police “absolutely sickening” and “heartbreaking.”  Asked about Trump’s role, Sommers said, “I blame him completely.”  [ read more … ]

Mob stains ascent of Democrats — and climate — in Senate

By Adam Aton and Scott Waldman, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Moderates in both parties hoped that Democrats taking control of a 50-50 Senate would lead some Republicans to engage on climate policy. Then President Trump helped to incite a riot. A day that began with the political earthquake of Democrats seizing control of the Senate, ended with the fallout of a history-making incursion into the Capitol, with violent rioters occupying the corridors around the House and Senate chambers. [ read more … ]

RFS

Valero Sues Texas-Based Commodity Group for Failure to Deliver 106 Million RINs

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Valero has filed a lawsuit in Texas state court alleging a Cypress, Texas,-based commodity group failed to deliver renewable identification numbers, or RINs, as part of an agreement with Valero. In the lawsuit filed on Dec. 31 in Harris County, Texas, Valero alleges because Sundive Commodity Group, LLC, failed to provide RINs to Valero, the company was forced to spend $10 million more on the open market to meet its obligations in the Renewable Fuel Standard. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Will Senate wins unlock Biden’s 100% clean energy agenda?

By Lesley Clark and Peter Behr, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

“The Biden clean energy agenda just got a huge shot in the arm,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Senate Finance Committee staffer now with the Progressive Policy Institute. He noted Democrats will now control the calendar and committee chairmanships. “The Democratic Senate can now pursue the broad, Biden clean energy economic jump-starting vision,” Bledsoe said. “And that’s how it will happen, through economic policy.”
[ read more … ]

Iowa’s Republican-led congressional delegation stands to lose power as control shifts to Democrats in Washington, D.C.

By Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Iowa’s Republican-led congressional delegation stands to lose influence in Washington, D.C. as Democrats appear poised to gain control of the Senate following a pair of wins in Georgia run-off elections Wednesday.  Republicans currently hold five of Iowa’s six seats in Congress after gaining ground in the 2020 elections. Now, they will face a White House, U.S. House of Representatives and a U.S. Senate controlled by Democrats. [ read more … ]

CCS Rule

Treasury issues final CCS tax credit rule

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

The Trump administration’s Treasury Department issued a final rule yesterday providing detailed guidelines for companies using a tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects. In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the regulations governing the tax credit known as 45Q would “further modernize the American energy sector, while ensuring American energy producers maintain their competitive edge around the world.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Democratic Senate could boost EVs, batter fossil fuels

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Corporate advisers are preparing their clients for a strong clean energy push by the incoming Biden administration after Democrats won two runoff elections in Georgia to reclaim the Senate. When President-elect Joe Biden and the new Congress are sworn in, Democrats will have 50 seats in the Senate and a tiebreaking vote in the White House, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) running the House. Policy analysts and corporate lobbyists say Biden could use that unified power to boost federal spending on clean energy, slash tax breaks that support fossil fuels and strike down eleventh-hour environmental rollbacks by the Trump White House. [ read more … ]

Newsom proposes first funding for gas car ban

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wants to spend $1.5 billion to get more clean cars and trucks on the road. Newsom plans to propose the funding in his fiscal 2021-22 budget, he said in a statement, adding that he is “building on California’s historic commitment” to phase out gas-fueled vehicles. The governor issued an executive order last year saying no new gas-fueled passenger cars could be sold after 2035. The California Air Resources Board will begin drafting regulations this year to meet that goal. [ read more … ]

California governor’s stimulus plan includes $1.5 billion to boost electric and hydrogen vehicles

By Lora Kolodny, CNBC  •    •  Posted January 7, 2021

Tesla and other electric vehicle makers stand to benefit handsomely if California passes Governor Newsom’s proposed $4.5 billion 2021 budget for economic stimulus in the state. The 2021 proposal, which Newsom previewed on Tuesday, includes $1.5 billion earmarked to help people and businesses purchase electric or hydrogen vehicles and equipment, and to invest in construction and maintenance of charging and fueling infrastructure, which would be needed to support expanded use of these vehicles in the state. [ read more … ]

 

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