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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE August 20, 2023

Top Story

Iowa Utilities Board orders Summit to turn over financial details of pipeline

By Jared Strong, Iowa Capital Dispatch  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

Summit Carbon Solutions must reveal the financial aspects of its agreements with ethanol plants to the attorneys for two groups that seek to verify the economic claims of Summit’s proposed carbon dioxide pipeline, the Iowa Utilities Board has decided. However, the board agreed with the company in declaring that unspecified “critical timing-related provisions” of the contract should be redacted. [ read more … ]

RFS

EPA: No New SREs Filed Under The RFS

By Erin Vogel, Ethanol Producer Magazine  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

The U.S. EPA published updated small refinery exemption (SRE) data on Aug. 17, reporting that no new SRE petitions have been filed under the Renewable Fuel Standard in the past month. Only two SRE petitions remain pending. The two pending SRE petitions are both for RFS compliance year 2018. The EPA on July 14 denied 26 SRE petitions filed by small refineries for one or more RFS compliance years between 2016 and 2023. Several small refiners have signaled their intent to challenge the denials. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

What legal issues could decide Summit’s carbon pipeline permit request? We asked an expert.

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

Will Summit Carbon Solutions’ planned $5.5 billion carbon capture pipeline across Iowa provide a public benefit to the state and its residents? That will be the question at the heart of a monthslong hearing scheduled to begin Tuesday in Fort Dodge as Summit seeks a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board to build the 700-mile Iowa segment. The planned pipeline would transport liquefied carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants and other agriculture-based industries in Iowa and four other states to a deep subterranean sequestration site in North Dakota. Jennifer Zwagerman, a Drake University law professor and the school’s Agriculture Law Center director, says a core legal consideration as the board decides whether to grant the permit will be whether it promotes “public convenience and necessity.”
[ read more … ]

Meet the Iowans battling over carbon capture pipeline plans as permit hearing is set to begin

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

Thousands of Iowans have flooded the Iowa Utilities Board with messages expressing their concerns and opinions about Summit Carbon Solutions’ much-disputed proposal to build a $5.5 billion carbon capture pipeline across a 700-mile swath of Iowa. On Tuesday, the Ames company goes before the board to launch a months-long hearing on its request for a permit to build the Iowa portion of the hazardous liquid pipeline. It’s also seeking eminent domain powers to force about 480 landowners to sell access to their property for the project, which would capture carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol and other agriculture plants across Iowa and four other states, liquefy it under pressure and transport it via the pipeline to North Dakota for sequestration deep underground. [ read more … ]

CCS 2.0: Company reboots bid to save N.M. coal plant

By Carlos Anchondo, Jason Plautz, E&E News  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

A New Mexico startup isn’t abandoning efforts to install carbon capture technology on a coal-fired power plant in the state — even after its first attempt flopped. Enchant Energy Corp. is pursuing a retrofit of the Four Corners plant on the Navajo Nation, less than 15 miles from the now-closed San Juan Generating Station, which the company failed to keep open last year. The bid arrives amid a heated debate over EPA’s proposed power plant rules and whether carbon capture and storage (CCS) is adequately demonstrated on fossil fuel generation. [ read more … ]

Climate

Maui Sued Big Oil in 2020, Citing Fire Risks and More

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

The words were strikingly prescient: Because of climate change, lush and verdant Maui was facing wildfires of “increased frequency, intensity, and destructive force.” They appeared in a 2020 lawsuit filed by Maui County seeking damages from Exxon, Chevron and other giant oil and gas companies, accusing them of a “coordinated, multifront effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge” that the burning of fossil fuels would heat the planet to dangerous extremes. [ read more … ]

How Satellites Are Helping Farmers Adapt to Global Warming

By Paul Tullis, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

Tondriaux said combining recommendations based on orbital or drone data with GPS-driven farm machinery could transform farming. In the process, it might just stave off the worst global warming has in store for farmers. And as a bonus, such technology has the potential to cut the agriculture sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 13%, according to an April report from the World Economic Forum. The report sees the market for satellite data in agriculture nearly doubling by 2030 to almost $1 billion. It calculates the value of crop-loss prevention by using satellites to detect pests and pathogens at $400 million, and envisions an almost 10% drop in water use by leveraging space-borne insights. [ read more … ]

NOAA forecasts above-average temps this fall

By Rebekah Alvey, E&E News  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

Above-normal heat is expected to persist through the fall in most of the United States, according to NOAA forecasts released Thursday. The majority of the country is expected to see above-normal temperatures over the next three months, NOAA officials shared in a press call. Average temperatures are likely to occur in the center of the country and no lower-than-normal temperatures are expected. [ read more … ]

Commentary

One year in, the Inflation Reduction Act shows great promise for ethanol

By Emily Skor, The Hill  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

The path is clear, but challenges remain. Despite widespread, bipartisan support, a handful of groups have urged Treasury to block American agriculture from accessing sustainable aviation fuel incentives by weaponizing inaccurate and outdated assumptions about U.S. agriculture — meaning American farmers would be locked out of a new market for green energy.  Their goal is to stop the Internal Revenue Service from measuring the carbon intensity of sustainable aviation fuel based on a widely accepted and continuously updated model built by the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. The gold standard for climate science, it’s called the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) model.  As Biden has said, “Mark my words: the next 20 years, farmers are going to be providing 95 percent of all the sustainable airline fuel.”   [ read more … ]

EVs

China’s Abandoned, Obsolete Electric Cars Are Piling Up in Cities

By Bloomberg  •    •  Posted August 20, 2023

On the outskirts of the Chinese city of Hangzhou, a small dilapidated temple overlooks a graveyard of sorts: a series of fields where hundreds upon hundreds of electric cars have been abandoned among weeds and garbage. Similar pools of unwanted battery-powered vehicles have sprouted up in at least half a dozen cities across China, though a few have been cleaned up. In Hangzhou, some cars have been left for so long that plants are sprouting from their trunks. Others were discarded in such a hurry that fluffy toys still sit on their dashboards. [ read more … ]

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