Please add the Governors' Biofuels Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 26, 2023

Top Story

White House stalls ethanol expansion in Midwest amid price concerns

By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

The two sources familiar with the administration’s thinking, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House decided to delay action on the matter following the oil industry’s warnings in part because of concern that higher pump prices in certain states could hurt Biden’s re-election chances. White House and EPA officials declined to comment on the matter. [ read more … ]

RFS

US court rejects EPA’s decision to withhold small refinery biofuel waivers

By Heather Timmons, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday said it struck down the Biden administration’s decision to deny small refiners “hardship waivers” that exempt them from nation’s biofuel mandates, in a win for the refining industry. In July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied almost all outstanding petitions from oil refiners that argued the federal requirement that they blend ethanol and other biofuels into their fuel would cause them financial hardship. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found in favor of refineries that challenged the EPA’s decision, including Ergon, Calumet Shreveport and Placid. [ read more … ]

Fifth Circuit Overturns EPA Denials on RFS Small-Refinery Exemption Requests

By Todd Neeley, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

“The EPA denied petitioners’ years-old petitions using a novel CAA interpretation and economic theory that the agency published in December 2021. We conclude that the denial was (1) impermissibly retroactive; (2) contrary to law; and (3) counter to the record evidence. We grant the petitions for review, vacate the challenged adjudications, deny a change of venue, and remand.” [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Wolf Carbon Solutions seeks end to carbon pipeline application in Illinois

By Leah Douglas, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

Wolf Carbon Solutions has moved to withdraw its permit application in Illinois to build a carbon capture pipeline that would transport as much as 12 million tons of carbon dioxide annually to a storage site in the state, according to a company filing in the state regulatory commission docket. Wolf is the latest carbon capture pipeline to face setbacks after Nebraska-based Navigator CO2 Ventures canceled its Heartland Greenway pipeline project in October and Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions had its pipeline permit applications denied in North Dakota in August and South Dakota in September.
[ read more … ]

Why carbon capture is no easy solution to climate change

By Leah Douglas, Reuters  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

Technologies that capture carbon dioxide emissions to keep them from the atmosphere are central to the climate strategies of many world governments as they seek to follow through on international commitments to decarbonize by mid-century. As nations gather for the 28th United Nations climate change conference in the United Arab Emirates at the end of November, the question of carbon capture’s future role in a climate-friendly world will be in focus. Here are some details about the state of the industry now, and the obstacles in the way of widespread deploymen [ read more … ]

Pollution

Deaths From Coal Pollution Have Dropped, but Emissions May Be Twice as Deadly

By Cara Buckley, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

Coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, is far more harmful to human health than previously thought, according to a new report, which found that coal emissions are associated with double the mortality risk compared with fine airborne particles from other sources. The study also found that during that period the shuttering of coal plants in the United State, coupled with the installation of scrubbers in the smokestacks to “clean” coal exhaust, has had salubrious effects. Deaths attributable to coal plant emissions among Medicare recipients dropped from about 50,000 a year in 1999 to 1,600 in 2020, a decrease of more than 95 percent, the researchers found. The new study in Science adds to mounting evidence of the health benefits that come from moving away from the burning of fossil fuels, especially for vulnerable populations. [ read more … ]

Polluting Industries Say the Cost of Cleaner Air Is Too High

By Lydia DePillis, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to announce new regulations governing soot — the particles that trucks, farms, factories, wildfires, power plants and dusty roads generate. By law, the agency isn’t supposed to consider the impact on polluting industries. In practice, it does — and those industries are warning of dire economic consequences. Under the Clean Air Act, every five years the E.P.A. re-examines the science around several harmful pollutants. Fine particulate matter is extremely dangerous when it percolates into human lungs, and the law has driven a vast decline in concentrations in areas like Los Angeles and the Ohio Valley. [ read more … ]

US prepares wave of methane rules on oil and gas industry

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

President Joe Biden pledged to use “all available tools” to rein in methane when he was elected three years ago. Now his promise is coming due. Federal agencies are poised to release a battery of rules in the coming months that crack down on the oil and gas sector for releasing the potent greenhouse gas. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

In Biden’s Climate Law, a Boon for Green Energy, and Wall Street

By Jim Tankersley and Lauren Hirsch, New York Times  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

The 2022 climate law has accelerated investments in clean-energy projects across the United States. It has also delivered financial windfalls for big banks, lawyers, insurance companies and start-up financial firms by creating an expansive new market in green tax credits. The law, signed by President Biden, effectively created a financial trading marketplace that helps smaller companies gain access to funding, with Wall Street taking a cut. Analysts said it could soon facilitate as much as $80 billion a year in transactions that drive investments in technologies meant to reduce fossil fuel emissions and fight climate change. [ read more … ]

Highway agency finalizes contentious climate rule

By Mike Lee, E&E News  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

The Federal Highway Administration announced a sweeping greenhouse gas rule that will require state and local transportation officials to set declining emissions targets for road projects funded with federal money. Climate advocates have been pushing the plan since President Joe Biden took office three years ago, but it’s opposed by rural states and Republicans in Congress who’ve tried to block the idea with legislation. [ read more … ]

Commentary

The Renewable Fuel Standard Shattered the “Blend Wall” for Ethanol

By Scott Richman, RFA  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

Under the RFS, ethanol approached and then soundly broke through the alleged “blend wall.” In 2005, when the original RFS was enacted, the blend rate was approximately 3%. By 2010, it was above 9%. This year it is expected to exceed 10.4%. Given that ethanol is cost-competitive with gasoline, enhances energy security, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 44-52% compared to gasoline, it’s clear that the RFS has been a resounding success. [ read more … ]

Markets

Brazil’s Top Fuel Firm Is Betting on Growth in Corn Ethanol

By Gerson Freitas Jr and Ezra Fieser, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted November 26, 2023

Vibra Energia SA expects to benefit from a corn ethanol production boom in Latin America’s largest economy to expand sales of the biofuel in northern states, which are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, according to Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Pousada Jr. Brazilian ethanol has been primarily made from sugar cane for decades, and it’s mostly used near production areas in Brazil’s heavily populated southeast region. But production of corn — commonly used in the US to make ethanol — has rapidly expanded northward, triggering a wave of investments in new biofuel-producing facilities that use abundant supplies of the grain as feedstock. [ read more … ]

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