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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 3, 2021

Top Story

Biden abandons legal defense of Trump-era auto standards

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

The Biden administration yesterday asked a federal appeals court to pause litigation over President Trump’s rollback of clean car standards. In a motion last night, lawyers for EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to freeze consolidated lawsuits over part of the rollback while the new administrations considers its next steps. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Vilsack Nomination Moves to Full Senate

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 3, 2021

Tom Vilsack’s nomination to U.S. agriculture secretary advanced unanimously out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on Tuesday and will now head to the full Senate for approval. Vilsack, who served for eight years in the Obama administration, would be returning to USDA at a time when agriculture is in recovery mode with higher commodity prices and expanding commodity purchases from China. Agriculture is also facing some headwinds, including a struggling ethanol industry.
[ read more … ]

Regan Faces Senate Committee Today

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

The EPA already is behind on setting the 2021 renewable volume obligations in the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the Biden administration has yet to indicate how it will handle the small-refinery exemption program. Grassley said he told Regan EPA should apply nationally a January 2020 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. The court ruled EPA illegally granted small-refinery exemptions to three companies. “Regan told me that biofuels are a major tool in Biden administration’s plan to combat climate change,” Grassley said. [ read more … ]

Markets

Archer Daniels Midland Asks Court to Dismiss Ethanol Market Manipulation Case

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

Six ethanol companies alleging in a lawsuit Archer Daniels Midland manipulated the market have until Wednesday to file a response to ADM’s motion to dismiss the case.In November, Wisconsin producers United Wisconsin Grain Producers, Didion Ethanol, Ace Ethanol, Fox River Valley Ethanol, Badger State Ethanol and Iowa producer Pine Lake Corn filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Urbana. [ read more … ]

US Ethanol Market to Reopen in Peru After Tribunal Ruling

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

The Peruvian market will reopen for the United States ethanol industry, after a tribunal in Peru ruled in favor of U.S. producers on Jan. 29. The Peruvian National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property tribunal reversed a Peruvian government decision to apply a 15-cent per-gallon duty on U.S. imports. The duty previously resulted in loss of market access in the country for U.S. producers. [ read more … ]

Commentary

G.M.’s Bold Move on the Climate

By Jody Freeman, New York Times  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

G.M.’s decision is a sea change. For decades, the company and other automakers resisted pollution rules. As recently as last year, G.M. supportedthe Trump administration’s relaxation of fuel efficiency standards, only to make an about-face after the November election. When one of the most recalcitrant and iconic American companies so markedly changes its tune and embraces the clean-energy transition, something big is happening. Pressure will undoubtedly mount on oil and gas companies, among others, to produce credible energy transition plans of their own. [ read more … ]

State must draw key lessons in wake of Mead ethanol plant’s environmental concerns

By Editorial Board, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

The state must scrutinize the permit process for biomanufacturing operations and make sure it requires adequate environmental information. When AltEn opened in 2015, it told the state in a permit application that it would be using “corn” to make ethanol. As the situation has made abundantly clear, that information was woefully inadequate. In its ethanol production, AltEn uses surplus corn seed that typically is coated with insecticides and fungicides. Under current Nebraska law, that is legal. The plant’s seed residue, stored in a giant outdoor pile, and its wastewater contain high amounts of ag chemicals, state testing has shown. Residents have complained about health effects and a terrible widespread odor. Some countries, though not the United States, have banned outdoor use of some of the pesticides found at Mead. [ read more … ]

Iowans need to raise less corn and more hell

By Jess Mazour, The Gazette  •    •  Posted February 2, 2021

In a recent guest column, Geoff Cooper from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, says that growing more corn to produce more ethanol is the solution to climate change. Unfortunately he fails to mention that combating climate change requires more than reducing our fossil fuel dependence with ethanol. We actually have to capture the emissions that we’ve already put into our atmosphere. When you look across Iowa’s landscape you’ll see fields and fields of corn and soybeans. This model of farming, pushed by big agribusiness companies, has exacerbated our climate crisis. One of the best ways to capture carbon from our atmosphere is by building healthy soil. Unfortunately healthy soil and intensive row crop farming like we see today don’t go hand in hand. [ read more … ]

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