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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 29, 2021

Top Stories

G.M. Will Sell Only Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2035

By Neal E. Boudette and Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

The days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. General Motors said Thursday it would phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only vehicles that have zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a seismic shift by one of the world’s largest automakers that makes billions of dollars today from gas-guzzling pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The announcement could put pressure on automakers around the world to make similar commitments. [ read more … ]

As Biden vows monumental action on climate change, a fight with the fossil fuel industry has only begun

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

“This is not a time for small measures,” Biden said at the White House, adding that the nation had already wasted precious years as it delayed in dealing with the climate crisis. But as he detailed his plans, the gas, oil and coal industries were already mobilizing on all fronts. From an oil patch in Alaska to state capitals to the halls of Congress, the industries and their allies are aiming to slow Biden’s unprecedented push for climate action and keep profits from fossil fuels flowing. Republican attorneys general from six states wrote to the new president, warning him not to overstep his authority. GOP lawmakers attacked his executive orders as “job killers.” And the petroleum industry revived television ads promoting drilling on federal lands. [ read more … ]

Proposed Climate Policy

Exclusive: U.S. oil industry seeks unusual alliance with Farm Belt to fight Biden electric vehicle agenda

By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

The U.S. oil industry is seeking to forge an alliance with the nation’s corn growers and biofuel producers to lobby against the Biden administration’s push for electric vehicles, but is so far meeting a cool reception, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions. The effort marks an unusual attempt by the petroleum industry to cozy up to its long-time rivals, reflecting the scale of its concern over President Joe Biden’s sweeping measures to combat climate change and tamp down fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

‘I’m the dude.’ Gina McCarthy has a red-hot climate deadline

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

Gina McCarthy has her work cut out for her. President Biden’s executive order on climate change yesterday gives his national climate adviser less than three months to work with 21 federal agencies and conduct “appropriate outreach to domestic stakeholders.” [ read more … ]

Biden executive order seeks to involve ag in battling climate change

By Steve Davies, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

“When we think of renewable energy … we see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday at the White House. “The order also calls for the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate,” the fact sheet said. [ read more … ]

US to end overseas fossil-fuel funding as rich world urged to boost climate finance

By Megan Rowling, Reuters  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

The United States will produce a plan to end international financing for fossil fuel projects, its special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday, as senior British and U.N. officials urged donor nations to meet a flagship climate finance promise. Speaking at an online panel organised by the World Economic Forum, Kerry said the new administration of U.S. President Joe Biden would draft a plan for U.S. climate finance, without giving further details. [ read more … ]

Markets

Buffett-Backed Truck Stop to Buy Ethanol Plant as Recovery Eyed

By Kim Chipman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

A sprawling truck stop chain partly owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is buying an ethanol plant just as the beleaguered industry may be turning around. Green Plains Inc. said Wednesday it plans to sell a 65 million-gallon ethanol plant for $64 million to GreenAmerica Biofuels Ord LLC. GreenAmerica is a unit of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Pilot Co., which says it is the 10th-largest closely held company in the U.S. and the nation’s largest operator of travel centers and truck stops. The deal puts Buffett’s Berkshire, which owns 38.6% of Pilot, in a position to benefit if fuel demand picks up as more Americans are vaccinated and as exports to countries such as China increase. Berkshire’s BNSF Railway already transports the biofuel around the country. [ read more … ]

U.S. Producers Come To The Rescue As China Begins To Import Ethanol

By Sal Gilbertie, Forbes  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

Since 2017 Beijing has had big plans to mandate a U.S. style 10% ethanol blend into its gasoline pool; the original target date was 2020. Domestic logistics, weather, the trade war, and COVID all got in the way of an actual mandate implementation, but today demand for ethanol continues to grow in lock-step with China’s massive gasoline powered motor pool, the world’s largest. [ read more … ]

Biden’s Climate Goals Will Boost Ethanol for Now

By Jinjoo Lee, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

The Biden administration has signaled climate issues as one of its priorities. New leadership at the EPA will be in charge of determining blending obligations for 2021, which the previous administration didn’t set by the Nov. 30 deadline. The new volume obligations likely won’t emerge until the second half of the year. Corey Lavinsky, director of global biofuels at S&P Global Platts, notes that Biden’s EPA is likely to set strong mandates for 2021 and 2022 and to enforce them. [ read more … ]

Ethanol Demand up Third Straight Week

By DTN Staff  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

Total domestic ethanol inventories were again drawn down slightly as demand for the fuel continued to edge higher, data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, Jan. 27, show. Blending activity, a measure of demand, climbed for a third week, up 7,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 785,000 bpd, although down 10.1% from the same week in 2020 data show. Blending activity during the four weeks ended Jan. 22 averaged 758,000 bpd, 90,000 bpd below the comparable year-ago period. [ read more … ]

SREs

EPA Directed to Report on 2017 Court Order

By Cindy Zimmerman, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted January 31, 2021

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is directing the Environmental Protection Agency to submit a status report every 60 days “on its progress in complying with the court’s remand” stemming from the July 2017 ruling in a case regarding the improper waiver of 500 million gallons of 2016 renewable fuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard. [ read more … ]

EVs

Biden order could boost electric mail trucks, tanks

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

President Biden yesterday told federal agencies to buy zero-emission vehicles as part of a flurry of executive action on climate change. The directive is a small but significant step on the path to reaching net-zero emissions from transportation, the country’s largest source of greenhouse gases, climate experts said. It could also bolster EV adoption by the Pentagon and the U.S. Postal Service, which rely heavily on fossil fuel-powered cars and trucks for their operations, former defense officials and analysts told E&E News. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Can This Unlikely Duo Revive Rural America and Help the Planet?

By Art Cullen, New York Times  •    •  Posted January 28, 2021

Mr. Vilsack, who served two terms as Iowa’s Democratic governor, hopes to convert the skeptics back home. In a recent interview with me, he pledged to use his full executive authority to meet the Biden administration’s goal of a net-zero-carbon economy by 2050. It is not lost on Mr. Biden or Mr. Vilsack that former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue — to cover for former President Donald Trump’s trade wars with Mexico, Canada and China, which beat down U.S. commodity markets — tapped the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation to lard at least $50 billion in subsidies on farmers and agribusinesses. Mr. Vilsack suggested he will use the same authority to spur a transformation of agriculture and food systems founded on sustainability and climate resiliency. [ read more … ]

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