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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE May 10, 2021

Top Story

Colonial Pipeline, targeted by ransomware attack, says service could be ‘substantially’ restored by week’s end

By Will Englund, Ellen Nakashima and Taylor Telford, Washington Post  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

The Colonial fuel pipeline running from Houston to New Jersey could be “substantially” restored to service by the end of the week after a ransomware attack caused it to be shut down, the company that runs it said Monday. “While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach,” a statement posted on the company’s website said. [ read more … ]

Emissions

Air pollution from farms leads to 17,900 U.S. deaths per year, study finds

By Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

Animal agriculture is the worst emitter, researchers say, responsible for 80 percent of deaths from pollution related to food production. Gases associated with manure and animal feed produce small, lung-irritating particles capable of drifting hundreds of miles. These emissions now account for more annual deaths than pollution from coal power plants. Yet, while pollution from power plants, factories and vehicles is restricted under the Clean Air Act, there is less regulation of air quality around farms. [ read more … ]

Study Ties Health Issues Related to Air Quality Back to Animal Ag Production

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

Researchers looked at air quality issues tied to various foods and highlighted that animal production is overwhelmingly responsible for agriculture’s air quality-related health impacts, the report stated. Ammonia, released from manure and nitrogen fertilizers, reacts with other pollutants to form fine particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in the air. Chronic exposure to PM 2.5 levels can increase the risks of asthma, heart disease, cancer and strokes. EPA notes PM 2.5 particles “pose the greatest risk to health.” The study was led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, Carnegie Mellon University, Oxford University, the University of Washington and the University of Illinois. [ read more … ]

Fossil Fuels, Climate Change and India’s COVID-19 Crisis

By JUSTIN WORLAND, Time  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

A slew of studies have shown direct links between exposure to air pollution and vulnerability to COVID-19. One paper published in December in the journal Cardiovascular Research found that chronic exposure to particulate matter—a type of pollution that results from a mix of chemicals that come from sources like smokestacks and fires—is likely linked to some 15% of global COVID-19 deaths. Particulate matter doesn’t just come from fossil fuels, but the study’s authors found that more than 50% of air pollution-linked COVID-19 deaths are specifically connected to fossil-fuel use. [ read more … ]

Markets

Corn is the Latest Commodity to Pop

By Ryan Dezember and Kirk Maltais, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

America’s biggest cash crop has rarely been more expensive. Corn prices have risen 50% in 2021 and a bushel costs more than twice what it did a year ago. Corn has been one of the sharpest risers in the broad rally in raw materials that is prompting companies to boost prices for goods and fueling concern among investors that inflation could hobble the post-pandemic economic recovery. [ read more … ]

ADM to build new soy crushing facility to meet rising food, fuel demand

By Arathy S Nair, Reuters  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

U.S. agricultural commodities trader ADM said on Monday it planned to build a soy-crushing facility and refinery in North Dakota to meet increasing demand for food and renewable fuel. Companies are counting on rising demand for food as restaurants and the travel sector emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and for feedstocks to produce biofuels, including renewable diesel. [ read more … ]

Average US price of gas jumps 6 cents per gallon to $3.02

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 6 cents over the past two weeks, to $3.02 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the increase came as the costs of crude oil and ethanol also rose. Ethanol must be blended by refiners into gasoline, per federal rules. [ read more … ]

State Car Rules

State judge OKs Minnesota’s ‘clean cars’ plan

By Stepanie Hemphill, MPR News  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

A state judge has approved Gov. Tim Walz’s proposed “clean car” rules, giving a boost to the plan designed to increase the number of electric vehicles available to Minnesotans — and in the process, reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.  In a 69-page report released Friday, Administrative Law Judge Jessica Palmer-Denig concluded that the proposed rulemaking from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is “needed and reasonable,” and that the agency has the authority to adopt the changes.But it’s come under fire from Republicans at the state Capitol, who argue that the governor should have sought legislative approval for the controversial proposal. GOP leaders want to stop the rules, or at least force a delay in implementation as part of end-of-session budget negotiations.  [ read more … ]

Senate Republicans threaten to cut funding for Minnesota state parks, environmental programs over ‘clean cars’ rule

By Jennifer Bjorhus, Greg Stanley and Briana Bierschbach, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

Minnesota’s state parks could shut down in July if the Walz administration does not bow to demands by Senate Republicans to drop plans for new “clean cars” emissions standards. Along with parks, much of the environmental arm of state government would shut down over the impasse, which flared up during a conference committee meeting Tuesday on the Senate’s proposed omnibus environment budget. [ read more … ]

EVs

Electric cars ‘will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles by 2027’

By Joanna Partridge, The Guardian  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

Electric cars and vans will be cheaper to produce than conventional, fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2027, and tighter emissions regulations could put them in pole position to dominate all new car sales by the middle of the next decade, research has found. By 2026, larger vehicles such as electric sedans and SUVs will be as cheap to produce as petrol and diesel models, according to forecasts from BloombergNEF, with small cars reaching the threshold the following year. [ read more … ]

Canadian electric vehicle maker Lion plans massive $70M Chicago-area plant

By Ben Miller and David Schuyler,  Milwaukee Business Journal  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

A Canadian manufacturer of electric trucks and buses said it’s chosen Joliet, Illinois, to be the site of a massive production facility that will create at least 745 jobs and potentially many more.
The Lion Electric Co. of Montreal said when the 900,000-square-foot facility is completed, it will be the largest all-electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicle plant in the U.S. Lion said the new facility will produce up to 20,000 all-electric buses and trucks per year. [ read more … ]

In China’s Biggest Cities, One in Five Cars Sold Is Now Electric

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted May 10, 2021

Electric and hybrids now account for about one-fifth of new car sales on average in the six biggest Chinese cities, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. In some hubs, like Shanghai, that figure is even higher. Around 31% of cars sold in China’s financial heart run on alternative energy, up from 6% in 2016, Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the car trade body wrote in a note over the weekend. In Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Tianjin, EV penetration rates are 16%, 13%, 25%, 21% and 12% respectively, higher than 8% nationwide. [ read more … ]

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