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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE June 22, 2023

Top Story

US Corn Crop Withers to Worst Conditions Since 1992, Driving Prices Higher

By Tarso Veloso Ribeiro, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Corn prices are surging as persistent dry weather in the US, the world’s biggest producer, has dragged crop conditions to the worst levels in three decades.  Futures in Chicago have jumped more than 12% over four sessions, the biggest such gain since early March 2022, when the outbreak of the war in Ukraine rattled grain markets. Heat and drought have shriveled the potential for yields in critical growing areas of the Midwest. The portion of the US corn crop rated good to excellent has dropped to 55%, the lowest for this time of year since 1992. [ read more … ]

RFS

EPA opts for status quo ethanol blend requirements

By Jared Strong, Iowa Capital Dispatch  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Federal regulators have decided not to increase the amount of ethanol that is required to be blended with gasoline for fuel each year through 2025, a reversal from what it had initially proposed. On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its new requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program that governs this year and the next two. [ read more … ]

Iowa farm groups, elected officials slam lower EPA ethanol, biodiesel blending mandate

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Iowa’s elected officials and farm and renewable fuels groups slammed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision Wednesday to scale back how much ethanol should be blended into the nation’s gas supply over the next two years. And the groups said the federal agency’s modest increase to the biodiesel and renewable diesel mandates fail to reflect demand driven by California and other states that mandate cleaner fuel. [ read more … ]

US boosts biofuel mandates over next 3 years, but biofuel groups feel shortchanged

By Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

The Biden administration on Wednesday increased the amount of biofuels that oil refiners must blend into the nation’s fuel mix over the next three years, but the plan has angered the biofuel industry, which says mandates for corn-based ethanol and biodiesel are not high enough. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized biofuel blending volumes at 20.94 billion gallons in 2023, 21.54 billion gallons in 2024 and 22.33 billion gallons in 2025. That compares with the initial proposal announced in December of 20.82 billion in 2023, 21.87 billion in 2024, and 22.68 billion in 2025. [ read more … ]

Biden Biodiesel Quotas Scorned by Makers of Plant-Based Fuel

By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

The Biden administration dealt a blow to makers of bio and renewable diesel by setting federal quotas for the plant-based fuel that advocates say ignore a surge in production and a wave of investment in new manufacturing facilities. Under a regulation released Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency in 2023 is requiring the use of 2.82 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, generally made from soybean and canola oil — a 2.2% increase over the 2.76 billion gallons mandated last year. The mandates, including those for 2024 and 2025, are well below the increase sought by producers. [ read more … ]

Congress

Growth Energy Tells House Committee Ethanol Should Qualify as Advanced Biofuel

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Most studies on the carbon footprint of corn-based ethanol show the biofuel reduces carbon emissions by 50% compared to gasoline – meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard definition as an advanced biofuel – yet the law does not allow corn ethanol to qualify. In a letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing and Critical Materials, Growth Energy CEO said her group supports the Fuels Parity Act, H.R. 3337, introduced by Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. That bill puts corn-starch ethanol on par with all other feedstocks in the RFS, qualifying the biofuel as an advanced biofuel. [ read more … ]

EPA air chief defends strict tailpipe rule at House hearing

By SEAN REILLY, E&E News  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

In his first appearance before a House panel Wednesday, acting EPA air chief Joseph Goffman defended stricter tailpipe emissions standards against Republican criticisms that they are intended to force adoption of more costly electric vehicles unaffordable to many Americans. Recently proposed regulations to tighten emissions limits on new cars and trucks starting in the 2027 model year “would deliver dramatic improvements in public health, notable savings for consumers and commercial fleets, and increased energy security,” Goffman told members of the House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the outset of a morning hearing. [ read more … ]

Republicans question agencies on post-Sackett plans

By E.A. Crunden, E&E News  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Republicans are questioning the Biden administration on its plans to implement a major Supreme Court ruling that massively scaled back the federal government’s oversight of wetlands. House and Senate Republican committee leaders Wednesday asked EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers heads about how their agencies are moving forward in the aftermath of Sackett v. EPA. That historic ruling greatly curtailed agency authorities under the Clean Water Act and has all but gutted the Biden administration’s waters of the United states, or WOTUS, rule. [ read more … ]

EVs

EU electric vehicle sales jump 71% helped by subsidies

By Madeline Chambers and Nick Carey, Reuters  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in the European Union jumped 71% in May while new car registrations grew for the tenth consecutive month, rising 18.5%, data released by the region’s carmaker association showed on Wednesday. Sales of EVs and hybrid cars – which have both a battery and combustion engine – have soared in the bloc in the last three years, boosted by government subsidies and corporate fleets looking for low- or zero-emission vehicle options. [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Gina McCarthy’s next act

By Robin Bravender, E&E News  •    •  Posted June 22, 2023

She’s advising private equity firms on their climate- and sustainability-focused investments. She’s doing a climate fellowship at her alma mater, Tufts University; working with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg on climate; and co-chairing a group coordinating climate policies between the United States and India. After working on domestic policies as the Obama EPA administrator and as Biden’s national climate adviser, McCarthy wanted to shift more toward international climate work when she left the White House, she said.
[ read more … ]

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