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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 8, 2021

Top Story

Working on the Night Moves: Cruz RINs Cap Plan Struck Down in Wee Hours Friday

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

The Senate rejected an attempt by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to cap the price of renewable identification numbers, or RINs, at 10 cents, as part of a proposed amendment to the COVID-19 stimulus bill, in the wee hours of the morning on Friday. Cruz has been part of a group of senators from oil states that has tried repeatedly to influence the Trump administration to make changes to the RINs market. On Friday, Cruz argued a cap was necessary because of recent spikes in RINs prices are making it more costly for refiners to comply with the RFS. [ read more … ]

RFS

Klobuchar-Thune bill puts ethanol in climate-friendly light

By Marc Heller, E&E News  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

Two Midwest senators have reintroduced legislation that could cast a more positive environmental light on ethanol, as both sides in the biofuel debate prepare for a new White House administration driven to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) proposed the “Adopt GREET Act,” which would require EPA to update greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel, adopting a measurement from the Argonne National Laboratory. [ read more … ]

API asks court to review U.S. EPA rule on consolidated fuel standards

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

The American Petroleum Institute, a leading energy trade group, filed a petition this week asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to review a rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that consolidated fuel quality regulations. In December the agency issued a final rule on updating existing gasoline, diesel and other fuel quality regulations to reduce compliance costs for the industry, as well as the federal government. One of the changes included consolidating summer-grade gasoline in the United States under a single standard. [ read more … ]

Mead Ethanol Plant

Ethanol plant near Mead ordered to shut down

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

A troubled ethanol plant near Mead that uses chemically treated seed corn has been ordered to shut down until it can dispose of excess, contaminated wastewater generated by the facility.
On Thursday, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy issued an emergency order to AltEn, the operator of the plant, to immediately cease discharges into its wastewater lagoons, saying that the company was “likely to cause and may have already caused” pollution of the air, land and water. [ read more … ]

Markets

Despite Pandemic and Trade Barriers, U.S. Ethanol Exports Top 1.3 Billion Gallons in 2020

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

U.S. ethanol exports totaled 1.33 billion gallons in 2020, down 9 percent from 2019 and the lowest volume since 2016, according to official government statistics released today. Still, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, exports were a relative bright spot in 2020, as the annual volume was the fourth-highest on record and nearly one out of every 10 gallons of U.S. ethanol produced last year was exported. [ read more … ]

EVs

Ford to go all in on electric vehicles

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

The company said yesterday it is generating strong cash flow and will go all in on electric vehicles. Ford said it would now spend at least $22 billion developing them from 2016 through 2025, nearly double what it previously announced. Before taxes the company made $1.7 billion for the year, but it was brought down by restructuring costs in Europe, South America and elsewhere. Also contributing were a $610 million government-ordered recall of 2.7 million vehicles with dangerous Takata air bag inflators and a $1.2 billion one-time accounting charge for falling pension-fund values.
[ read more … ]

Auto industry peers into an electric future and sees bumps ahead

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

Will Ferrell has it out for Norway. “Did you know that Norway sells way more electric cars per capita than the U.S.?” he asks before smashing his fist through a plastic globe. In an unlikely and very expensive Super Bowl ad made by the usually-staid General Motors, a disheveled, bearded Ferrell shouts “Well I won’t stand for it!” During a break in the Super Bowl action, the comedian vows to “crush” Norway and recruits help from Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” and actress and rapper Awkwafina in a multimillion-dollar promotion for GM’s Ultium battery. At the end, after Ferrell mistakenly winds up in Sweden and Thompson and Awkwafina mistakenly end up in Finland, the ad says “We’re coming, Norway.” [ read more … ]

Big Oil is backing EVs: What is going on?

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

An oil giant is readying a plan to help the U.S. oil capital charge electric vehicles. London-based BP PLC is headlining a new program with Uber Technologies Inc., the ride-hailing company, to explore the placement of rapid EV charging hubs in Houston. Details remain elusive, including how many chargers may get built and at what cost. But the scope and timeline could firm up later this year, and the plan may include charging hubs in parking lots and other locations. [ read more … ]

Commentary

What could make the electric vehicle trend into a win for ethanol

By Don Siefke, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted February 7, 2021

Iowa farmers who support the ethanol industry should be wary about the support given by President Joe Biden and others to electric vehicles, or EVs, especially in light of GM’s recent announcement that it intends to sell only EVs by 2035.  EVs may be the future, but they may not be, and farmers will lose one of their largest markets if a commitment is made to EVs now. [ read more … ]

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