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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 11, 2021

Top Story

Supreme Court to Review Refinery Waivers From Biofuel Quotas

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

Under the January 2020 ruling that the Supreme Court will now review, the EPA was found to have wrongly waived three refineries from the renewable fuel requirements. A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit also said that refineries are only eligible for relief if they have received uninterrupted, continuous extensions of the exemptions — an exclusion that means only a handful nationwide will qualify. HollyFrontier and Wynnewood Refining argued that puts small refineries at risk of closing and pointed out that some facilities have already ceased petroleum refining operations. The Trump administration had discouraged the Supreme Court from taking up the appeal, which now could be heard as soon as April. [ read more … ]

SREs

Supreme Court to Hear Small-Refinery Exemption Appeal

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

The justices without comment agreed to hear an appeal by HollyFrontier Corp. and Wynnewood Refining Co. The companies have argued the 10th U.S. Circuit ruling wrongly deprives small refineries of economic relief authorized by Congress. Under law, small refineries facing an “economic hardship” from the RFS can receive exemptions. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are expected to take place sometime this spring. [ read more … ]

Supreme Court agrees to hear biofuel waiver case

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

“We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to review the case but will continue to vigorously pursue a resolution to the damage that small refinery exemptions do to the biodiesel industry,” said Kurt Kovarik, spokesman for the National Biodiesel Board. The Fueling American Jobs Coalition, which advocates on behalf of refiners, cheered the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the review comes at an “urgent time” for refiners battered by the economic downturn. [ read more … ]

Battle for Lost RFS Gallons

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

Biofuels and agriculture groups fired back in response to a petroleum group’s legal argument that they have no right to have 500 million gallons restored to the Renewable Fuel Standard, in a reply filed by the groups on Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 2017, the court ruled EPA had illegally waived the gallons from the 2016 RFS renewable volume obligations and required the agency to restore them, which EPA has not yet done. [ read more … ]

Farm & Biofuel Coalition Rejects EPA’s Excuses for Failing to Comply with 2017 Court Order

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

“EPA should not be allowed to hide behind claims that restoring 500 million improperly waived gallons is an administrative burden that would inconvenience oil industry interests. What’s at stake is the proper implementation of the RFS and the rural communities that rely on its success for their livelihood.  As we have made clear, EPA has had the ability and the authority to do the right thing and remedy these lost gallons immediately and on a definite schedule.  EPA’s delay and disregard for the court’s directive for more than three years is inexcusable.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Car Dealers Challenge Minnesota’s Proposed Emissions Standards

By ANDY MONSERUD, Courthouse News Service  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

Minnesota car dealers took to federal court Wednesday to fight proposed changes to the state’s emissions rules for new automobiles, saying that the state’s ongoing rulemaking is preempted by federal environmental laws. The regulations at issue would bring Minnesota’s emissions standards for new car sales up to par with those enforced in California. Minnesota would be the first Midwestern state to take up that elevated — and contested — standards, which were made possible by an Environmental Protection Agency waiver revoked in 2019.  [ read more … ]

Mass. looks to ban gas car sales by 2035

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

Massachusetts plans to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, speeding down the same road as California. While many climate hawks have their eyes trained on the federal government, the proposal last week from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) heralds significant climate action at the state level. “I’m really excited to see Gov. Baker moving forward to address global warming pollution from cars and get more zero-emission vehicles on the road,” said Morgan Folger, director of the Zero Carbon Campaign at Environment America. [ read more … ]

Markets

For Minnesota farmers, 2020 was nothing like they expected and surprisingly profitable

By Evan Ramstad, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted January 11, 2021

But corn and soybean growers flourished, after extreme weather and a surge in exports bolstered prices. “It turned out to be a way better year than what we thought it was going to be,” said Tim Little, a corn and soybean farmer near Faribault. The pandemic threw the U.S. economy into recession for the first time since 2009 and changed the trend line in every segment of farming. And yet, farmers, food processors, distributors and grocers kept Americans fed even as eating patterns underwent a rapid shift driven by the need for people to spread out and stay home to slow the virus. Congress and President Donald Trump approved federal assistance of unprecedented size to farmers to offset effects of both the pandemic and a trade war that had stretched into a third year. The result: Overall farm income rose 43% in 2020 to its third-highest level ever, surpassed only by 2011 and 2013. [ read more … ]

Crop trader pours money into firm making meat out of air

By Isis Almeida, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

One of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders is pouring money into a startup making meat from elements of the air. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Barclays PLC and Google’s venture capital unit are leading a $32 million series A funding for Air Protein. The California-based firm combines carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen with water and minerals in a probiotic production process that converts the elements into nutrients. It all sounds very futuristic, but Air Protein CEO Lisa Dyson says it’s like making yogurt, a process that involves live cultures, but that requires no arable land. If scalable, the technology will help cut agriculture emissions and even improve food security as the product can be made anywhere independent of climate, soil and weather conditions. [ read more … ]

Corn Prices Ring the $5 Bell

By Todd Hultman, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

In the case of corn, USDA’s ending corn stocks estimate of 1.70 bb is 11.5% of annual use. It is a lot more bullish than the 3.32 bb estimated last June, but not close to the tight scenario we’re talking about for soybeans. USDA may adjust its corn ending stocks estimate modestly lower in their World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Jan. 12, but for now, the history of cash corn prices at an 11.5% ending stocks-to-use ratio points to a target of $4.20 per bushel, which is far below the $4.94 per bushel that March corn settled at on Jan. 7. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden, Harris add energy, environment aides to White House roster

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 10, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden named an additional 21 people to fill out his National Security Council staff, including an aide focused on energy and climate change, while Vice President-elect Kamala Harris added 12 aides to her staff.
[ read more … ]

 

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