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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE December 9, 2021

Top Story

Biofuels sector rankled although EPA proposes highest ethanol mandate ever

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

The Biden administration said it would set the ethanol mandate at its highest level ever in 2022 and reject 65 requests from small refineries for exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Both were welcome steps for biofuel backers, but they rebelled at companion proposals to retroactively set the RFS for 2020 and this year below the maximum possible — “a betrayal” of rural America, said a Nebraska senator. [ read more … ]

RFS

US refiners weigh impact of EPA’s RFS volume obligations as RINs costs rise

By Janet McGurty and Josh Pedrick, S&P Global  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

US refiners are working to get their heads around exactly how the long-awaited Renewable Fuel Standard volume obligations set by the Environmental Protection Agency will impact them, while the program’s credits — known as Renewable Identification Numbers — rose on uncertainty over the status of the Small Refinery Exemption, a key part of the program. Prices of D6 2021 ethanol RINs were assessed 11.75 cents/RIN higher at $1.03/RIN while D4 2021 biomass diesel RINs rose 4 cents/RIN to $1.425/RIN on Dec. 8, S&P Global Platts data shows, as market sources said that small refiners – fearful of what will happen with the SRE – were buying RINs as the administration of the program remained in limbo. [ read more … ]

RFS package ‘modestly positive’ for biofuels, analysts say

By OPIS  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

The proposals, modifications and funds seem to have found somewhat of a happy medium, analysts say. In an analysis piece released Tuesday, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. (TPH) said the package was positive for refiners, modestly positive for renewable natural gas (RNG) and negative for renewable diesel.  Similarly, Goldman Sachs late Tuesday said the release was “modestly positive for biofuels.” [ read more … ]

E15

Groups Press EPA’s Regan to Act on E15

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

With just six months before the start of the summer driving season, agriculture and biofuels groups asked the EPA to change federal law to allow for year-round E15 sales, in a letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Thursday. “Specifically, we believe EPA should require the use of lower-RVP (Reid vapor pressure) summertime conventional gasoline blendstocks (i.e., 8.0 psi in attainment areas) for mixing with all ethanol blends. This would render the 1-psi waiver unnecessary for the sale of both E10 and E15 during the summer ozone control season, resulting in fewer GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and slightly lower emissions of the pollutants that contribute to ozone formation.”
[ read more … ]

US government urges Supreme Court to deny review of E15 case

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice on Dec. 8 filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a writ of certiorari filed by Growth Energy seeking the review of a lower court’s decision that vacated a U.S. EPA rule allowing year-round sales of E15. The brief points to alternative solutions to court review, including addressing the issue via a legislative fix. The D.C. Circuit’s holding does not conflict with any decision of this court or any other court, and it has limited legal and practical consequences. As a legal matter, the effect of the decision below is to restore the interpretation of Section 7545(h)(4) that EPA maintained for most of the past three decades. And as a practical matter, a number of economic, logistical, and administrative barriers unrelated to the rule at issue here independently impede the widespread use of E15. This court’s review is not warranted.” [ read more … ]

SREs

D.C. Circuit remands Trump RFS waivers, allowing EPA to scrap them

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

A federal appeals court has granted EPA’s request for remand without vacatur of dozens of Trump-era approvals of renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance waivers for small refiners, opening a path for EPA to scrap them, only a day after the agency proposed to deny all remaining requests for such waivers. [ read more … ]

Carbon Neutral

Biden orders federal government to go carbon neutral

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

President Biden signed an executive order today that would compel the U.S. government to be “net-zero” by 2050 and have a zero-emissions vehicle fleet within 13 years. It directs the government to reduce its greenhouse gas releases by 65 percent by 2030 and also make sure facilities are powered with no carbon energy. That will mean greening 300,000 buildings, 600,000 cars and trucks, and its $650 billion yearly purchasing power. [ read more … ]

Biden Commits U.S. Government to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

By Katy Stech Ferek, E&E News  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

President Biden on Wednesday committed the federal government to net-zero emissions by 2050, including directing federal agencies to make all of their vehicle purchases zero-emission units by 2035. Mr. Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order steering the business of the U.S. federal government, which spends $650 billion a year on goods and services, toward sustainable products and low-carbon industries. “As the single largest landowner, energy consumer, and employer in the Nation, the Federal Government can catalyze private sector investment and expand the economy and American industry by transforming how we build, buy, and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings, and other operations to be clean and sustainable,” the order said. [ read more … ]

States

New administrator to take the reins at Nebraska Ethanol Board beginning 2022

By Jessica Sodeke, Nebraska Ethanol Board  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) today announced the hiring of Reid Wagner as administrator of the agency. Wagner will join NEB on Jan. 3, 2022, and he replaces Roger Berry, whose last day will be Dec. 10, 2021.
[ read more … ]

EVs

GM, Ford Extra EV Credits At Risk In Senate Review

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted December 9, 2021

A Biden-backed proposal to give an extra tax break for the purchase of electric cars made in the U.S. with union workers will undergo a review by the Senate parliamentarian who will determine whether it qualifies under budget rules to move as part of President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion economic package. The plan to offer $4,500 more in tax credits to consumers who buy those vehicles has drawn vehement opposition from a variety of people, including Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, Senator Joe Manchin and trade officials in Canada, Mexico and the European Union. [ read more … ]

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