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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE September 2, 2021

Today’s Biofuels News will not publish during the Labor Day holiday.  It resumes on Tuesday, September 6.

Top Story

Biden announces steps to address hurricane fuel shortages

By Jeremy Dillon, Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves asked EPA and DOE in a letter yesterday to help refiners knocked down by the storm. Specifically, he called on DOE to release additional crude from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Graves asked EPA to waive regulatory requirements for the renewable fuel standard. DOE did not return a comment on whether it planned to release crude oil from the SPR. EPA said the agency issued an emergency fuel waiver that raised Reid vapor pressure standards for gasoline. The goal was to help refiners to access the “fuel supply available to them to address acute shortage issues.” [ read more … ]

Air Pollution

Air Pollution From Fossil Fuels Could Cut Lifespans by 2 to 5 Years

By Linda Poon, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

From gas-guzzling cars to power generation, fossil fuel combustion is a leading cause of climate change. But that’s not the only reason to rein in emissions. Fossil fuels are also a leading direct source of air pollution, a health risk that can take years off of human lives.  The smallest, most dangerous type of particulate air pollution, known as PM2.5, is on track to cost the average person 2.2 years. For people in the most polluted places, the cost would be far more, according to the annual Air Quality Life Index report published Wednesday.  [ read more … ]

Air pollution is cutting more years from people’s lives than smoking, war or HIV/AIDS

By Sheena McKenzie, CNN  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

Air pollution is slashing years from billions of people’s lives around the world and is a greater threat to life expectancy than smoking, HIV/AIDS or war, a report published Wednesday shows. In countries where air pollution levels are below standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), people are, on average, losing 2.2 years of their lives. [ read more … ]

SREs

U.S. EPA asks court to allow it to reconsider some biofuel blending waivers

by Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked a U.S. appeals court to allow the agency to reconsider some waivers it gave under the previous administration to oil refiners that exempted them from biofuel blending mandates. The EPA asked the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a voluntary remand of a decision the agency made in 2019 that granted 31 small refinery exemptions, known as SREs, and denied five. The remand would allow the agency to reconsider the waivers in light of court decisions that have discussed the use of SREs, the filing said. [ read more … ]

EPA Moves to Remand ’18 RFS Exemptions

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

EPA wants a second look at its 2019 decision to grant 31 small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018, after the Supreme Court ruled this summer that a federal appeals court erred in a January 2020 ruling that favored the ethanol industry. “Following the Supreme Court’s decision, EPA plans to consider what, if any, impact the remaining holdings in the 10th Circuit’s decision may have on EPA’s implementation of the small-refinery exemption provision generally, and what, if any, resulting impact that may have on the small-refinery petitions adjudicated in the decision and challenged here,” EPA said in its motion.
[ read more … ]

EPA seeks to reconsider 31 SREs approved in 2019

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

The U.S. EPA on Aug. 25 filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the court to remand, without vacatur, 31 small refinery exemptions (SREs) approved by the agency for Renewable Fuel Standard compliance year 2018 under the Trump administration in 2019. The motion was filed as part of a pending case brought against the EPA by Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. in September 2019 challenging the EPA’s Aug. 9, 2019 decision on 36 SRE petitions, 31 of which were approved. Sinclair’s SRE petition was among those denied by the agency. [ read more … ]

Biofuels Initiatives

American Coalition for Ethanol Wants Hearing on Biofuels Legislation

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff.Reporter  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — With ethanol taking a backseat to electric vehicles in the Biden administration’s efforts to decarbonize the U.S. fuel supply, the American Coalition for Ethanol wants Congress to make ethanol part of that discussion by considering the “Next Generation Fuels Act of 2021” introduced last week by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. In a letter to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, ACE’s CEO Brian Jennings asked for a hearing to be held on the legislation.
[ read more … ]

Aid

With $8.75 billion, USDA nears bottom of pandemic aid list

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

In mid-June, the USDA earmarked $700 million for biofuel producers and said it would act in the next 60 days on “support to timber harvesters, biofuels, dairy farmers and processors, livestock farmers and contract growers of poultry, assistance for organic cost share, and grants for PPE (personal protective equipment).” Biofuel payments and the PPE grants are the two largest items on a USDA list of “programming … still planned for implementation.” The USDA said it “will continue to focus on filling gaps in previous rounds of assistance and helping beginning, socially disadvantaged, and small and medium-size producers that need support most.” [ read more … ]

Markets

Oil Giants Announce Renewables Ventures

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

Two major oil companies this week announced plans to expand renewable fuels production by partnering with agriculture. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Bunge North America, Inc., announced on Thursday a joint venture to develop what the companies say are lower-carbon-intensity feedstocks for renewable fuels. Through the joint venture, the companies said in a news release, they anticipate doubling soybean-processing capacity from 7,000 tons per day by the end of 2024 at Bunge’s plants Destrehan, Louisiana, and Cairo, Illinois, while Chevron is expected to contribute about $600 million in cash to the joint venture. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Budget Reconciliation Measure Should Include Federal Climate Smart Agriculture Investments

By Solutions from the Land  •    •  Posted September 2, 2021

As Congress takes up the proposed $3.5 trillion dollar budget reconciliation measure, we urge policy makers to include funding and enabling authority for critically needed conservation, technical assistance and clean energy programs, water management and infrastructure investments, carbon pricing mechanisms and ecosystem service payment programs; as well as investments in integrated science research on climate risks, adaptation innovations, and the economic value and effectiveness of CSA production practices.   Ida is yet another call to action. With sound climate smart agriculture enabling polices, investments and markets, those who work the land can deliver solutions to climate, food system, energy and national security challenges. Who in Congress will help agriculture respond to these existential threats? [ read more … ]

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