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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE March 7, 2021

Top Story

A rough road for Iowa’s ethanol industry?

By John Steppe, The Gazette  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

Seth Meyer has spent more than two decades in agricultural economics research, but he had never seen anything like what the ethanol industry experienced last year. “I was talking to somebody the other day that said, ‘In the summer, I had the same tank of gasoline in my car for three months,’” Meyer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture chief economist, said during an interview with The Gazette. “It was such an unusual circumstance.” Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development estimated coronavirus’ impact on the ethanol industry in 2020 to be about $2.5 billion. [ read more … ]

State Policy Initiatives

Area Iowa lawmakers hope for compromise on Governor Reynold’s biofuels mandate

By KMALAND  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

“The mandate word really forces us to do things that are very difficult to do,” said Lincoln.  “It’s not as easy as just putting 15% ethanol in.  We’re going from 10% ethanol and it’s not as easy as just adding in the extra 5% in for our retail sites.  A lot of the sites that we either own or supply are not capable of having 15% ethanol in them.” [ read more … ]

Iowa Legislature considers ethanol bill

By Randy Paulson,  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

Kelly Nieuwenhuis thinks it’s time for Iowa to increase the amount of ethanol it blends into the state’s fuel supply. Nieuwenhuis, board president of the Siouxland Energy Cooperative ethanol plant in Sioux Center, spoke in favor of a biofuels standards bill Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed to the Iowa Legislature earlier this month. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Vilsack Says ‘No Time to Waste’ on Farm Climate Initiatives

By Mike Dorning, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he plans to move swiftly on initiatives to lower carbon emissions from farms, aiming to act on climate change programs this year. “We are going to be very aggressive on this because we have no time to waste,” Vilsack said in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power.” He added that the department will “get focused on this in the first year of the Biden-Harris administration and do what we can to get things started.” [ read more … ]

Ag Secretary Vilsack says he’s working to make ethanol industry stronger

By Amie Winters, WEAU  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

Newly confirmed Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack had a message for National Farmers Union members this week that was music to the ethanol industry’s ears. Speaking to the group at their national meeting he said he has already been working with the nominated Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Michael Regan, to make our ethanol industry stronger and more aggressively deal with small refinery waivers. Vilsack said he doesn’t expect the same liberal use of those waivers during the Biden Administration that we saw during the Trump years. He also said he wants to work closely with EPA to implement the Renewable Fuels Standards in a way that is enforceable and respected. [ read more … ]


DDG, Ethanol Price Fuels Margin Rise

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

Rising ethanol and distillers dried grains prices continue to drive improving profit margins at the hypothetical Neeley Biofuels 50-million-gallon ethanol plant, even as corn prices continue to rise. The March futures price on the Chicago Board of Trade — the price paid by DTN’s hypothetical plant — closed at $5.46 per bushel on Thursday or a 22-cent increase since our January update. The corn price paid has jumped by more than $1 since the middle of January. [ read more … ]

Gasoline Heads Toward $3 in U.S. For First Time in Six Years

By Jeffrey Bair, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

A record plunge in gasoline stockpiles last week is threatening to raise pump prices across America above $3 a gallon for the first time in six years. Inventories fell by 13.6 million barrels — the most in weekly data that goes back to 1990 — after a deep freeze paralyzed much of the Gulf Coast refining sector, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Demand for the fuel meanwhile rose by the most since May. [ read more … ]


Electric Vehicles Are the U.S. Auto Industry’s Future—If Dealers Can Figure Out How to Sell Them

By Nora Naughton and photographs by Whitney Curtis, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

Car dealer Brad Sowers is spending money to prepare for the coming wave of new electric models from General Motors Co. But when he considers how many plug-in Chevy Bolts he sold last year—nine, out of the nearly 4,000 Chevrolets sold at his Missouri dealerships—it gives him pause. “The consumer in the middle of America just isn’t there yet,” when it comes to switching to electric vehicles, he said, citing the long distances many of his customers drive daily and a lack of charging infrastructure outside major cities. [ read more … ]

GM Looking to Build Second Battery Factory in U.S.

By Ben Foldy and Mike Colias, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted March 5, 2021

General Motors Co. GM -1.22% is looking to build a second battery factory in the U.S. with joint-venture partner LG Chem Ltd. 051910 4.51% , the latest move in the Detroit auto maker’s efforts to expand its investment in electric vehicles. A GM spokesman confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the companies are exploring building a second battery-cell plant and said a decision could come in the first half of this year. GM and LG are close to completing a decision to locate the plant in Tennessee, said people familiar with the matter. A final selection hasn’t yet been made, the people said. [ read more … ]

German carmakers battle to save the internal combustion engine

By Joshua Posaner, Politico  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

 The German car industry has launched a preemptive PR campaign to keep gasoline and diesel cars around as long as possible. The fear is that the European Commission’s upcoming push to set tougher emissions rules for cars and trucks — called Euro 7 — will lead to Brussels announcing the end of internal combustion engine vehicles. [ read more … ]


Lawsuit was imperative to force change at Mead plant

By Editorial Board, Lincoln Journal Journal Star  •    •  Posted March 7, 2021

A stockpile of about 84,000 tons of distiller’s grain that hadn’t been disposed of, an emergency order to cease wastewater discharge, a leak that released waste materials 4 miles — the scope of the problems at the AltEn Ethanol plant near Mead is staggering. And those are the most recent findings from the ongoing environmental disaster cited in a 97-page complaint filed against the Kansas-based company in Saunders County District Court by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office — decisive, desperately needed action. [ read more … ]


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