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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 23, 2022

Top Story

China Missed Mark on Ag Purchases

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Vilsack took umbrage at repeated Republican suggestions that the Biden administration doesn’t support biofuels for the sake of expanding electric vehicles. He noted EPA’s proposed blend levels for 2021 and 2022 would be the highest in the history of the program. Vilsack also said EPA is committed not to undercutting its RFS blend volumes and rejected 65 requests by refiners for small-refinery exemptions.
[ read more … ]

Vilsack says the future for biofuels remains bright

By Erin Voegele, Biomass Magazine  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed the important role biofuels and biobased manufacturing play in the rural economy and highlighted the agency’s efforts to support those industries during a Jan. 20 hearing held by the House Agriculture Committee. Vilsack outlined four primary benefits of the biofuels industry. He said the industry supports stability in farm income, increases jobs in rural areas, provides consumers with choice at the pump, and benefits the environment. “That’s why it’s important for the industry to have stability,” he said. “And, stability comes not just from setting a [strong RVO], but from making sure that number is real.” He discussed the Trump administration’s overuse of SRE waivers, noting that RVOs finalized by Trump’s EPA were not real, rather they were greatly dissipated by the granting of SREs. The current administration plans to deny more than 65 pending SRE petitions, which will result in a “real” RVO. “I think the stability is going to be very helpful to this industry,” he said.   [ read more … ]

RFS

US EPA looks to get new biofuel feedstocks to market quicker with streamlined review

By Jasmin Melvin, S&P Global  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

The US Environmental Protection Agency Jan. 21 announced plans to streamline reviews of new chemicals that could be used to produce biofuels and in turn displace dirtier transportation fuels. The initiative, under the Toxic Substances Control Act, aims to support the Biden administration’s overall push to confront the climate crisis as well as the congressionally mandated goal of the Renewable Fuel Standard program to replace a portion of US petroleum-based transportation fuel, heat oil and jet fuel consumption with biofuels that are projected to have fewer lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. [ read more … ]

Refiners clash with EPA, biofuels groups on RFS litigation

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Refining industry groups are urging a federal appeals court to briefly pause litigation over EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending volumes for 2020, opposing an agency push for an open-ended remand that would keep the rule in effect while EPA finalizes other rules that would upend the volumes regulation. EPA has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for an indefinite remand without vacatur in the consolidated suit RFS Power Coalition, et al. v. EPA. [ read more … ]

SREs

EPA: 2 additional SRE petitions filed, 69 now pending

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

The U.S. EPA released updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on Jan. 20, reporting that two additional SRE petitions have been filed under the Renewable Fuel Standard for compliance year 2020. A total of 69 SRE petitions are now pending, up from 67 that were pending as of mid-December. No other changes were made to the EPA’s online SRE data dashboard. [ read more … ]

Mead Ethanol Plant

‘How long is too long?’ — Bill would extend time residents of Mead could sue ethanol plant

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

If research links the contamination stemming from AltEn to any negative health outcomes experienced by the people living near the plant, a bill introduced in the Legislature this year would grant individuals more time to sue the plant and the seed companies that supplied it. The bill (LB694), sponsored by Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue, extends the statute of limitations for Nebraskans who fall sick after an exposure to toxic chemicals from four years to 10 years. It would also extend the time for the family of individuals whose illness or death is linked to exposure to seek compensation. [ read more … ]

States

Governor Walz hopes to sign E15 standard into law by end of 2022 Minnesota legislative session

By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

“I’ve been on that bandwagon since I was in Congress in the early 2000’s. I think it’s here now, we need to create these at-home markets. We’re really working, and the public understands this as we transition to lower carbon fuels, the biofuels (like) E15 mandates, soy diesel, are all a big piece of this.” Last year the Legislature failed to pass a bill to raise the ethanol standard from 10 to 15 percent. [ read more … ]

BBB Bill

It’s Manchin’s climate bill now. Here’s what might be in it

By Scott Waldman, Benjamin Storrow, E&E News  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Manchin said earlier this month that it would be easier to pass the $500 billion in climate provisions tucked into the “Build Back Better” plan as a stand-alone bill, and Biden said Wednesday that he is now prepared to do that. Biden recognizes that his only choice is to get as much policy done through the budget reconciliation process as possible, since that doesn’t require any Republican votes, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday.
[ read more … ]

GOP, eyeing Hill takeover, mulls energy and climate agenda

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

It may seem early, but Republicans are already plotting out a climate and energy agenda should they win control of Capitol Hill come 2023. But whether a Republican-controlled Congress would work with President Biden on those issues is another matter altogether. Many Republicans have changed their rhetoric in recent years. There’s a growing acknowledgment within the party that greenhouse gases are warming the planet and that outright climate change denial could hurt them at the ballot box. [ read more … ]

Markets

EIA expects U.S. fossil fuel production to reach new highs in 2023

By Ornella Kaze, EIA  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

After declining in 2020, the combined production of U.S. fossil fuels (including natural gas, crude oil, and coal) increased by 2% in 2021 to 77.14 quadrillion British thermal units. Based on forecasts in our latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we expect U.S. fossil fuel production to continue rising in both 2022 and 2023, surpassing production in 2019, to reach a new record in 2023. Of the total U.S. fossil fuel production in 2021, dry natural gas accounted for 46%, the largest share. Crude oil accounted for 30%, coal for 15%, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPLs) for 9%. We expect those shares to remain similar through 2023. [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla looks to northern Minn. for nickel

By Jael Holzman, E&E News  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Tesla Inc. is planning to get some of the nickel the company needs for its electric vehicles from northern Minnesota, a region where mining is hotly contested by environmental groups. The automaker last week committed to buy at least 165 million pounds of nickel concentrate over six years from the Tamarack nickel project, a proposed mine in Aitkin County, Minn., west of Duluth. Tamarack is a joint venture between junior miner Talon Metals Corp. and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto PLC. [ read more … ]

Some farmers say ethanol is being left out of the electric vehicle conversation

By Kellan Heavican, Brownfield  •    •  Posted January 23, 2022

Some Midwestern producers say the whole story isn’t being told about electric vehicles. Jan Tenbensil, a farmer from Southwest Nebraska, tells Brownfield many people believe electric vehicles are carbon neutral, but they’re not. “Just because a vehicle doesn’t have tail pipe emissions, we have to look at the entire lifecycle of the power source,” he says. “Be it coal, natural gas, solar or wind – all sources of electric have a carbon intensity that we have to measure.” [ read more … ]

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