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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 6, 2021

Top Story

Vilsack says USDA and White House close to deal on biofuel aid

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration appeared “very close” to releasing a long-promised $700 million in pandemic aid to biofuel producers. The aid was announced in March as part of a remodeling of coronavirus relief programs by the incoming administration. “I think we are very close to getting that done,” Vilsack said during a teleconference on Friday. “Sometimes it is frustrating to negotiate with our friends at OMB but that is the process.” [ read more … ]

RFS

Biofuels, at last?

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Reuters reported on Friday that as part of the proposal, the administration is planning to expand the kinds of renewable fuel production processes that can receive credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The move could help increase production of advanced biofuels and may echo an Obama-era proposal from 2016 that would allow biofuel producers to partially process renewable feedstocks at one facility and then turn them into renewable fuels at another site under existing approved production pathways. [ read more … ]

Biofuels groups protest EPA plan for automatic RFS compliance delays

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Biofuels groups are strongly opposing what they say are EPA’s plans to allow automatic extensions of compliance mandates with the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which they argue would give refiners a free pass to miss deadlines if EPA fails to set biofuel blending volumes on time as it has often failed to do in the past. At a Dec. 3 virtual public hearing, biofuels groups sparred with refiners over the agency’s latest proposal to again punt compliance deadlines, as EPA is rumored to be close to proposing long-overdue blending volumes for 2021 and 2022, and possible retroactive cuts to volumes for 2020. [ read more … ]

Ricketts: Delaying ethanol blending requirements isn’t support for producers

By Kellan Heavican, Brownfield  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says patience in the ethanol industry is running on empty as stakeholders wait for the release of ethanol blending requirements. “I just don’t understand what the Biden Administration is thinking and what the EPA is doing because you have ethanol, which will help reduce carbon emissions, help reduce greenhouse gases and help support what they want to do with climate change.” [ read more … ]

Reconciliation Bill

Big week for reconciliation as Dems look to finish changes

By Manuel Quiñones, E&E News  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Senate Democrats are looking to finish changes to the budget reconciliation bill in the coming days before moving it to the floor as soon as next week, if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gets his way. But the New York Democrat will have to deal with persistent concerns from Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — including on climate portions of the $1.7 trillion bill. [ read more … ]

Markets

Branstad: Expand China Phase One Deal

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

Despite political challenges involving the United States and China, former U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad told farmers Monday the Biden administration should look for ways to extend and improve upon the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, which is set to expire at the end of the year. “My advice is to build on the progress that was made in the previous administration, on the phase-one deal, which has been very beneficial to American agriculture. You need to see it enforced and you need to see it expanded,” Branstad said. [ read more … ]

Exclusive: oil companies’ profits soared to $174bn this year as US gas prices rose

By Oliver Milman, The Guardian  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

The largest oil and gas companies made a combined $174bn in profits in the first nine months of the year as gasoline prices climbed in the US, according to a new report. The bumper profit totals, provided exclusively to the Guardian, show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 top oil and gas companies made more than $74bn in net income. From January to September, the net income of the group, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $174bn. [ read more … ]

SAF

‘Sustainable aviation fuel’ is here, but still has miles to go

By Emily Pontecorvo, Grist  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

The point was less to demonstrate a flight with a lower carbon footprint than to show that SAF technology is now just as good as the fossil-based stuff. Some airlines are already blending SAF into the fuel they use, but the American Society for Testing and Materials, which develops standards for jet fuel, limits blending to 50 percent. Lauren Riley, United’s managing director of global environmental affairs, told Politico that was because of technical problems with earlier generations of SAF. “It’s matured since then, and we are proving that those concerns are no longer relevant,” she said. [ read more … ]

EVs

Build Back Better Could Reposition U.S. as Global EV Powerhouse

By David Welch, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 6, 2021

The Act would give buyers a $7,500 tax credit if the EV is built in the U.S. A consumer would get another $4,500 if the car is assembled by union workers and $500 more if the battery is built in the U.S. The bill has rankled neighbors Mexico and Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it would give automakers incentive to build in the U.S. and not in the auto plants in southern Ontario. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia doesn’t like that the bill would give the United Auto Workers union a big advantage. Tipping the scales in that way, he said while visiting a Toyota engine and transmission plant in the state, is “wrong” and “not who we are as a country.” [ read more … ]

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