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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE May 31, 2021

Top Story

Argonne Study Shows Corn Ethanol Reduces Carbon Footprint, Greenhouse Gases

By Emily Holbrook, Environmental Energy & Leader  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

“Since the late 1990s, LCA studies have demonstrated the GHG emission reduction benefits of corn ethanol as a gasoline alternative,” noted Argonne senior scientist Michael Wang. “This new study shows the continuous downtrend of corn ethanol GHG emissions.” The study reveals that the use of corn ethanol is reducing the carbon footprint and diminishing greenhouse gases. The study analyzes corn ethanol production in the United States from 2005 to 2019, when production more than quadrupled. Scientists assessed corn ethanol’s greenhouse gas emission intensity during that period and found a 23% reduction in CI. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

USDA Budget Scales Back COVID Aid

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

In a news release, USDA stated the president’s request calls for a combined $1.5 billion increase in areas involving climate-smart agriculture, climate resiliency and clean energy. The proposal also requests $4 billion for USDA’s various research, education and outreach programs. Another $700 million is being proposed for areas such as rural broadband. “The President’s budget gives USDA a new set of tools to address the urgent challenges of our time — racial injustice, a changing climate,and hunger. When we invest fairly and equitably in American families and communities, we lay the foundation for decades of American prosperity,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. [ read more … ]

A Look at What’s Inside Biden’s $6 Trillion Budget Request

  •  By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •  Posted May 31, 2021

The budget also proposes $10 billion in tax credits for trucks that do not produce planet-warming emissions, such as those powered by batteries or hydrogen, as well as $6.6 billion for cleaner jet fuels and $23 billion to incentivize new electric transmission lines that can transport wind and solar power from far-flung regions in the country. And it proposes to spend $23 billion over the next decade on tax credits for companies that install “carbon capture” technology at power plants or factories. [ read more … ]

Mead Ethanol Plant

Outrage as regulators let pesticides from factory pollute US town for years

By Carey Gillam, The Guardian  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

For years, the people of Mead, Nebraska, have worried about the ethanol plant that moved into their small rural community a little over a decade ago. They feared the terrible smells and odd illnesses in the area might be connected to the plant and its use of pesticide-coated seed corn in its biofuel production process. Those concerns recently turned to outrage and anger after environmental regulators were forced to acknowledge that under their oversight the AltEn LLC ethanol plant has been contaminating the area with an array of pesticides at levels much higher than what is considered safe.
[ read more … ]

Mead Ethanol Plant Cleanup Ongoing

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

A group of seed and agrichemical companies have mostly taken over cleanup and remediation efforts from the state of Nebraska for an ethanol plant contaminated with their pesticides after the plant mishandled treated corn seed disposal. While the state and EPA stand back, these companies are searching for nearby outlets for the contaminated wastewater, as well as seeking new partners in the cleanup. Specifically, the companies were fighting to involve a feedlot adjacent to the now-idled AltEn LLC ethanol plant in Mead in the cleanup effort. [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Climate Ruling Could Force Big Change at Shell

By Sarah McFarlane, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

To comply with a Dutch court order to cut carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A -0.82% PLC may have to overhaul its business and cut its oil output faster than it had planned, analysts and investors said. Potential ways to curb emissions include selling assets, rethinking exploration spending and halting growth of its liquefied-natural gas operations, they said. [ read more … ]

A Dutch court rules that Shell must step up its climate change efforts.

By Stanley Reed and Claire Moses, New York Times  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, must accelerate its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to tackle climate change. The District Court in The Hague ruled that Shell was “obliged” to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its activities by 45 percent at the end of 2030 compared with 2019. Shell has already adopted targets for emissions reduction, but the terms of the court’s decision could require the company to substantially accelerate the process of reducing emissions-producing fuels like oil and gas. [ read more … ]

Three Exxon refineries top the list of U.S. polluters

By Tim Mclaughlin, Reuters  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

Exxon Mobil’s U.S. oil refineries pump out far more lung-damaging soot than similarly-sized facilities operated by rivals, according to regulatory documents and a Reuters analysis of pollution test results. The Texas-based firm’s three largest refineries – two in Texas and one in Louisiana – are the nation’s top three emitters of small particulate matter, according to the analysis of the latest tests submitted to regulators by the nation’s 10 largest refineries.
[ read more … ]


Ethanol industry bounces back in time for summer travel season

By NTV  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

In March, researchers published results of a study validating the industry’s claims that high blend ethanol fuels were safe for even non flex-fuel vehicles, paving the way for ethanol to become even more common at the pump. “Well, the oil industry has had a tremendous public relations work for the last 140 years and it’s taken a lot to overcome some of those fears, very successful with that very good performance, performance was wonderful, no mechanical issues or problems of any sort,” said Tenbensel. After a tough 2020, the ethanol industry finally starting to recover and just in time for the summer season. [ read more … ]

Gov. Ricketts Proclaims May as “Renewable Fuels Month” in Nebraska

By Office of Governor Pete Rickets  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

“Renewable fuels save drivers money at the pump, clean up the environment, and create great opportunities for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Nebraska is the second-leading producer of ethanol in the United States.  Our ethanol industry provides great-paying jobs for 1,400 Nebraskans.  Earlier this year, the State of Nebraska completed a study to demonstrate that E30 is safe and reliable to use in vehicles that are not flex fuels.  Promoting this research is one of the many ways we’re working to grow Nebraska by increasing the volume of ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply.” [ read more … ]


A Big Climate Problem With Few Easy Solutions: Planes

By Niraj Chokshi and Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

Renewable jet fuel has its limits, too. The fuel reduces carbon emissions by only 30 percent to 50 percent compared with conventional jet fuel, according to Daniel Evans, the global head of refining and marketing at IHS Markit. What’s more, production of the fuel can cause deforestation when the raw materials are farmed. Some companies want to get around those problems by avoiding agricultural crops. Fulcrum, in which United is invested, is planning to build a plant in Britain to produce jet fuel out of waste from landfills and other trash. Red Rock Biofuels, a Colorado company, hopes to use waste woody biomass. [ read more … ]

Electric car US tax credit proposed to $12,500, less for Tesla vehicles

By Fred Lambert, Electrek  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

Ever since the Biden administration took over, there have been several legislative efforts to reform the US electric vehicle incentive program. President Biden himself confirmed that electric vehicles would get support bysetting aside $174 billion for them in his infrastructure proposal. However, it hasn’t been clear exactly what form the federal EV incentive reform would take.
[ read more … ]


Daschle: Ethanol industry loses fierce advocate with death of Orrie Swayze

By Tom Daschle, Argus Leader  •    •  Posted May 31, 2021

With Orrie’s vision to inspire us, our goal is to convince the administration officials to transition the U.S. motor fuels system from a nationwide 10% blend to nationwide E30 over the next 10 years, reducing the nation’s need for imported oil by a billion barrels per year.  At $100 per barrel, that is $100 billion every year that remains in our economy to create quality jobs, educate our children and modernize our infrastructure. Orrie’s mantra was “E30 by 2030”!  We are eager to bring that call to action to fruition. [ read more … ]





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