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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 7, 2022

Top Story

Senate Passes Climate and Tax Bill After Marathon Debate

By Emily Cochrane, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

The Senate passed legislation on Sunday that would make the most significant federal investment in history to counter climate change and lower the cost of prescription drugs, as Democrats banded together to push through major pieces of President Biden’s domestic agenda over unified Republican opposition. The measure, large elements of which appeared dead just weeks ago amid Democratic divisions, would inject nearly $400 billion into climate and energy programs. Altogether, the bill could allow the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade. [ read more … ]

Historic climate funding package clears Senate

By Philip Brasher, Agri-Pulse  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

“With the passage of this historic bill, Americans will see their energy costs go down while we tackle the urgent threats we face every day from the climate crisis,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “We are equipping farmers, foresters, and rural communities with the necessary tools to be a part of the solution. At the same time, we are investing in good-paying clean energy jobs to grow small towns and rural economies.” The $740 billion package, which Democrats dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act as a nod to a major political issue facing them in the mid-term elections, also includes biofuel tax provisions aimed at spurring increased usage of lower carbon biofuels for the trucking and airline industries. [ read more … ]

Inflation Reduction Act

Ag and Inflation Reduction Act

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

Agriculture is just a slice of the overall bill. While dealing with prescription drugs and other issues, the core spending in the bill, about $369 billion, includes tax credits for renewable energy, electric vehicles and lower emissions. That includes $19 billion for renewable fuels, especially focused on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The bill includes $20 billion for climate-smart agriculture that would essentially inject more funds into USDA conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Each would get funds to provide incentives for farmers to adopt practices that lower emissions and sequester carbon in the soil. [ read more … ]

Climate

How Republicans Are ‘Weaponizing’ Public Office Against Climate Action

By David Gelles, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

Nearly two dozen Republican state treasurers around the country are working to thwart climate action on state and federal levels, fighting regulations that would make clear the economic risks posed by a warming world, lobbying against climate-minded nominees to key federal posts and using the tax dollars they control to punish companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the nexus of these efforts is the State Financial Officers Foundation, a little-known nonprofit organization based in Shawnee, Kan., that once focused on cybersecurity, borrowing costs and managing debt loads, among other routine issues. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Ethanol Industry Wants to Bury Its Carbon, but Some Farmers Stand in the Way

By Joe Barrett, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

As climate-change concerns grow, ethanol plants like the one in this town of 630 surrounded by 10-foot-tall corn stalks are eager to join new pipeline networks that aim to carry carbon dioxide to places where it can be buried underground. But these CO2 pipeline projects are running into fierce resistance from landowners and environmentalists, similar to that faced by fossil-fuel conduits. Opponents say the CO2 pipelines threaten to trample property rights and delicate agricultural drainage systems, and are ill-conceived boondoggles aimed at harvesting government tax credits, not reducing heat-trapping gases. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Op-Ed: California wants more ethanol and carbon capture. That would lock in pollution for decades

By Carolyn Raffensperger and Sheri Deal-Tyne, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

As California prepares to update its low carbon fuel standard — a policy aiming to reduce emissions from transportation fuels — Indigenous groups and environmentalists across the Midwest are fighting one of its key provisions. The policy would incentivize ethanol production through technology that stores carbon underground not just in California, but anywhere in the U.S. Here in Iowa, where much of the nation’s corn is raised and corn-based ethanol is produced, we are facing a corporate stampede to build thousands of miles of dangerous pipelines crisscrossing six Midwest states. This includes the development of underground toxic waste disposal sites to store carbon under Midwest lands. [ read more … ]

Markets

Gasoline Demand Dip That Spooked Market Sparks Furor Over US Data

By Chunzi Xu, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

“While gasoline demand has lagged our expectations as we’ve trended into the summer, the one-week gasoline supplied from the Department of Energy report can be highly volatile week-to-week and not necessarily reflective of demand trends,” said Matt Murphy, director of energy research at Tudor Picking Holt & Co. Also puzzling some is an apparent divergence in demand for gasoline and ethanol, which is blended into the fuel. Most on-road gasoline is blended with 10% ethanol, yet blending remains well-above 2020 levels, leaving some questioning gasoline demand moving in another direction. “We wouldn’t have an explanation at this point,” said EIA spokesman Chris Higginbotham when asked about the potential anomaly.  [ read more … ]

Oil companies see ‘net positive’ in climate bill

By Mike Lee, E&E News  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

At Manchin’s urging, though, it would require the government to offer oil and gas leases on federal land and in the Gulf of Mexico, albeit at a higher royalty rate. It also provides tax incentives for projects that capture carbon dioxide and new forms of energy like hydrogen. The downside for the oil industry is a required minimum tax rate and a new fee on emissions of methane, a potent climate-warming gas that’s a major source of pollution in the oilfield [ read more … ]

Chevron Renewable Energy Group says future bright for biofuels

By Cassidy Walter< Successful Farming  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

Earlier this summer Chevron completed its acquisition of the Iowa-based company Renewable Energy Group – one of the largest producers of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the country. The newly formed Chevron Renewable Energy Group is headquartered in Ames, Iowa, and will be the central hub of the renewable fuels aspect of Chevron’s business going forward. Kevin Lucke is the President of Chevron Renewable Energy Group. Lucke sat down with Successful Farming to discuss what this acquisition means for American farmers. [ read more … ]

USDA: Distillers grains exports top 1 million metric tons in June

By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Produces Magazine  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

The U.S. exported 101.48 million gallons of ethanol and 1.01 million metric tons of distillers grains in June, according to data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service on Aug. 4. Exports of both products were up when compared to June 2021. The 101.48 million gallons of ethanol exported in June was down when compared to the 147.06 million gallons exported in May, which was a four-year high, but up from the 82.09 million gallons exported during the same month of last year. [ read more … ]

EVs

Electric Cars’ Surging Prices Mean Fewer Buyers Can Use Tax Credit

By Keith Laing, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 7, 2022

Vehicle-price caps included in a push by US Senate Democrats to expand a popular consumer incentive for electric cars could put pressure on automakers to lower costs of upcoming plug-in models.  A breakthrough deal between Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin would allow carmakers to keep offering up to $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase of new “clean cars.” The problem comes with Congress’s plan to restrict eligibility for the credits to EVs priced no higher $55,000 for new cars and $80,000 for pickups and SUVs — one way to ensure the benefit goes to consumers who need them most, instead of the wealthiest.  [ read more … ]

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