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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE July 4, 2022

Top Story

EPA Isn’t ‘Knocked Out,’ But Doing Its Job Just Got Much Harder

By Leslie Kaufman, Mark Chediak, and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

The Supreme Court ruling Thursday that curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s flexibility to curb power-plant emissions on a systematic basis is setting the stage for a piecemeal approach to the issue. But the decision didn’t erase the agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse-gas pollutants more broadly, nor did it leave it entirely toothless in the fight against climate change. Now it seems likely that the narrow approach will be the clearest path forward after the Supreme Court stripped the agency of broader oversight. [ read more … ]

SCOTUS

High court hinders climate action but ‘clears the way’ for EPA

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday does not strip EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. It is unlikely to change how the Biden administration regulates power plant emissions and will do little to boost the fortunes of a coal industry hamstrung by mounting competition from renewables. But the court’s 6-3 decision in favor of coal interests in West Virginia v. EPA could cast a long shadow over the administration’s wider attempts to combat climate change. The reason lies largely with how the court came to its decision rather than with its specific findings in the case, which focus on EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act, experts said. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Opinion The Supreme Court just upended environmental law at the worst possible moment

By Richard Lazarus, Washington Post  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

As Justice Robert Jackson warned more than 70 years ago, “There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.” The same is clearly true now for the court majority’s unbendingly doctrinaire view of the Constitution’s demands for separation of powers in limiting how Congress can permissibly authorize the most important agency rules. Nothing in the Constitution remotely compels such a misbegotten ruling. [ read more … ]

Opinion The EPA decision is the biggest one of all, and the court got it right

By George F. Will, Washington Post  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

Roberts, joined by Justices Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Thomas, invokes the “major questions” doctrine. It holds that when an executive agency claims a power to order changes of vast economic and political significance — e.g., the EPA’s proposed multi-billion-dollar restructuring (mandatory capital investments, higher energy prices) of a huge sector of the economy — courts should be skeptical of such claims unless legislation clearly and explicitly authorizes it. Otherwise, the agency is illegitimately lunging beyond its law enforcement function. [ read more … ]

Markets

Global demand for biofuels to slow in decade ahead, says forecast

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farmer  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6% a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption. Although biofuel demand grew by an average of 4% a year in the past decade, said the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook, a sharp slowdown is expected in the years ahead, “mainly due to declining fuel use and weaker policy incentives in high-income countries.” [ read more … ]

U.S. farmers boost corn plantings by more than expected

By Mark Weinraub, Reuters  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

U.S. farmers planted more corn than they had initially planned to take advantage of strong prices for the grain, the government said on Thursday. U.S. soybean acreage was lower than the U.S. Agriculture Department’s March outlook. Concerns about limited corn exports from war-torn Ukraine this fall put the world’s focus on the U.S. crop, the world’s largest, encouraging farmers to plant the grain despite high fertilizer costs. Corn futures fell to their lowest since March after the planting report was released. [ read more … ]

California Ethanol and Power to Build First Ethanol Plant Using Sugar Cane as Feedstock

BY HOWARD FINE, Los Angeles Business Journal  •    •  Posted July 4, 2022

California Ethanol and Power is planning to build the $650 million plant on a 160-acre parcel in the Imperial Valley. It’s part of a larger $1.1 billion project that also includes crafting agreements cumulatively worth more than $100 million with local Imperial Valley farmers to grow the sugar cane for the ethanol plant and an agreement with a major farming cooperative to market the ethanol once it’s produced. [ read more … ]

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