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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE February 23, 2021

Top Story

EPA Changes Course on RFS Exemptions

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

The EPA is changing course on small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard, announcing Monday it agrees with a court of appeals decision last year that the agency had mismanaged the program under the Trump administration. With a ruling out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals now before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring, the EPA statement Monday means the Biden administration will not be defending the Trump administration’s stance on the small-refinery exemptions to the RFS. Monday was the deadline for EPA to file a brief with the Supreme Court over whether the Biden administration would back the previous administration’s view on refinery exemptions. [ read more … ]

U.S. EPA says it agrees with court’s decision casting doubt on biofuel exemptions

By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that it agrees with an appeals court’s decision last year that cast doubt on a program that granted oil refiners exemptions to U.S. biofuel blending laws. The EPA will not act on any pending small-refinery exemption petitions until after a Supreme Court review of the case, which is expected by July 2021, according to a source familiar with the matter. The announcement signals that the agency could dramatically limit the number of exemptions given to refiners under the program going forward. The move would upset some in the oil industry who say exemptions are needed to keep small refiners afloat under pricey blending requirements but would be a huge win for the corn lobby.
[ read more … ]

RFS

Logjam kicks up debate over boosting electric vehicles

By By Marc Heller, E&E Reporter  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

A backlog of applications for advanced renewable fuels at EPA is spurring a new debate in the biofuel industry: Should the agency catch up on proposals related to electric vehicles first? That’s a possibility, a biofuel industry source told E&E News, as the Biden administration faces pressure to clear a logjam of applications for advanced biofuels under the renewable fuel standard. [ read more … ]

Mead Ethanol Plant

As senators act, ethanol plant needs to stay closed

By Editorial Board, Journal Star  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

The AltEn Ethanol plant near Mead shut down on Feb. 8, ceasing production after the state found three lagoons on the site were badly damaged and holding more wastewater than permitted. The plant should remain shuttered for the foreseeable future, as the damaged lagoons are only the tip of the iceberg of potential environmental destruction created by the plant’s use of pesticide-treated seed corn to make ethanol. [ read more … ]

Markets

USDA Expects Both Corn and Soybean Acres to Top 90 Million in 2021

By TYNE MORGAN, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

USDA’s 2021 Ag Outlook Forum kicked off Thursday morning with a peek at the possible acreage mix for 2021. During the Forum, USDA’s new chief economist, Seth Meyer, pointed out that the acreage picture largely hinges on weather, as it normally does. Meyer told Outlook attendees the projection is based on the assumption of normal planting weather. He says if weather cooperates, U.S. farmers could see an increase in total planted acres in 2021, with a record combined corn and soybean planted acres this year.  [ read more … ]

Ethanol expansion in China questionable

By Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

U.S. grain export leaders are holding out hope for ethanol expansion in China but say future expansion remains in question as China continues to be a major importer of corn. “I don’t know where they are going to go with the mandate, right now they are allowing provinces to kind of think about it a little further,” Bryan Lohmar, a U.S. Grains Council. [ read more … ]

Blackout

Restarting Texas’s Frozen Energy Heartland Will Be a Climate Mess

By Eric Roston, Sergio Chapa, and Barbara J Powell, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

Like a cold-blooded animal—a lizard or a snake—the petrochemical hub that is the state of Texas went dormant during the deep freeze. Eventually, it’ll wake up again, and when it does the damage will be worse than if it never went to sleep. Filings submitted in recent days to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, already show significant emissions related to stopping and restarting fossil fuel infrastructure. It’s an indication of what’s to come in a state that’s home to a quarter of U.S. natural gas production as well as half the oil production. [ read more … ]

EVs

Continuing climate change fight, Virginia lawmakers commit to clean car standards

By Sarah Vogelsong, Virgina Mercury  •    •  Posted February 22, 2021

In their second year in control of the legislature, Virginia Democrats pushed through another major measure to combat climate change when the Senate on Friday voted to adopt California regulations that set stringent vehicle emissions standards and electric car sales targets. “We know that our automobile emissions greatly contribute to our environmental problems,” said Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax. “It is incumbent upon us to start making changes.”  [ read more … ]

 

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