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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 5, 2021

Top Story

Biden Seeks to Electrify Auto Industry

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday is moving ahead aggressively with his administration’s push to ratchet down greenhouse-gas emissions through electric vehicles. The president will sign an executive order to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 “zero-emission” vehicles, including battery, fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The executive order also will set new long-term fuel-efficiency and emission standards “to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice and tackle the climate crisis.” The move by the administration will keep a spotlight on how EPA, USDA and other federal agencies treat biofuels going forward. The administration has continued to delay releasing annual rules for obligated refinery blend volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard. EPA has not yet responded as to how the administration will deal with a federal appeals court rejecting the Trump-era year-round E15 rule either. [ read more … ]

Biden, in a Push to Phase Out Gas Cars, Will Tighten Pollution Rules

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

The White House estimates the regulations would cut two billion tons of carbon dioxide — about one-third of the total annual carbon dioxide pollution produced by the United States — and prevent the burning of about 200 billion gallons of gasoline. The Biden administration then plans another set of tougher emissions regulations for vehicles produced beyond 2026. It is those rules that Mr. Biden hopes will essentially propel automakers to phase out the internal combustion engine. Since that second set of rules could be technically complex and legally ambitious, administration officials decided to first quickly reinstate the Obama regulations to cut some emissions while federal staff members take on the challenge of crafting the future rule. [ read more … ]

Biden launches EV push with unions, auto industry

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

President Biden today announced a multipronged plan for slashing car emissions and accelerating the country’s transition to electric vehicles over the next decade. The push marks one of the administration’s most significant actions to curb climate change and clean up the country’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. “[The] future of the automobile industry is electric, battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel-cell electric — it’s electric, and there’s no turning back,” Biden said today on the South Lawn of the White House. “The question is whether it will lead or fall behind in the race for the future.” [ read more … ]

RFS/E15

RFA Report: Farmers, Ethanol Producers Would Lose Billions if Summertime E15 Ban Returns

By Ken Colombini, RFA  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

The recent D.C. Circuit Court decision overturning EPA’s approval of year-round E15 sales could have a strongly negative impact on the rural economy and environment in the coming years unless action is taken to allow unimpeded sales of E15 all year long, the Renewable Fuels Association reported in a new analysis released today. According to the white paper, if the court decision is allowed to stand and no other action is taken to facilitate continued year-round sales of E15  in conventional gasoline areas, the ruling could have considerable long-term impacts on the ethanol market. E15 sales volumes in 2022-2024 would remain essentially flat with 2021 levels, rather than growing rapidly as expected prior to the court decision. [ read more … ]

Grassley Says Electric Over Ethanol Vehicles A Climate Religion for Many in Infrastructure Bill

By NAFB  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

A Midwest Senator claims the pending infrastructure bill’s heavy emphasis on electric over ethanol-powered vehicles has several root causes, ranging from climate change to ethanol’s continued reliance on blending with gasoline. Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley was asked why the big imbalance in the pending Senate infrastructure bill between electric versus biofuel investments, when electric-generation is still reliant on fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

Markets

HollyFrontier increases renewable fuel capacity with purchase of Sinclair Oil

By S&P Global  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

HollyFrontier will buy fellow Rockies refiner Sinclair, a deal which will add two refineries, a renewable diesel plant and access to a branded marketing network, thus increasing RIN generation, CEO Mike Jennings said on Aug. 3. Increased RINs generation — both through increased RD production and through Sinclair’s marketing business — will lessen the onerous burden of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard on the combined company. [ read more … ]

Exxon Considers Pledging ‘Net Zero’ Carbon by 2050

By Christopher M. Matthews, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

Exxon Mobil Corp. is considering a pledge to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would amount to a significant strategic shift by the oil company. In March 2020, Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods described ambitious carbon reduction targets made by some European rivals as nothing more than a “beauty competition,” saying the pledges lacked tangible plans to achieve them. [ read more … ]

EVs

While they were asleep, their Teslas burned in the garage. It’s a risk many automakers are taking seriously.

By Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

“If we had lived upstairs in this house, we’d be dead,” said Yogi Vindum, a retired mechanical engineer. The fire, which has not previously been reported, is one in a string of recent examples showing what can happen when electric cars are left parked in garages to charge overnight. The issue is causing mounting concern as a number of electric-vehicle makers have warned owners not to leave the cars charging unattended in certain circumstances, or sitting fully charged in garages. [ read more … ]

Automakers Are Investing in EVs Like They Mean It

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

Later today, the Biden administration will announce new automobile emissions standards and targets for electric vehicle sales. It won’t be speaking alone — Detroit will be there, too, with automakers expected to commit to an electric vehicle target of at least 40% of total sales by the end of the decade. A 40% target sounds bold, but it’s actually in line with what major automakers have already pledged. Ford Motor Co. already has a 40% target, as does Stellantis NV, the auto giant formed earlier this year from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group. Volkswagen AG goes the furthest — it expects half its U.S. sales and 70% of its European sales to be electric by 2030. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Why the Renewable Fuel Standard is a threat to our nation’s supply chain security

By Sean O’Keefe and Anthony C. Zinni, The Hill  •    •  Posted August 5, 2021

The record-breaking high temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and lengthening Atlantic hurricane seasons add to the mounting evidence of climate change. Recognizing this reality, the Biden administration has set in motion a strategy and plans to accelerate the national transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, we must manage this energy transition prudently and avoid unintended consequences that could threaten our security and economic stability. [ read more … ]

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