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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE January 1, 2024

Top Story

CO2 pipeline debate has resulted in divisions among ethanol proponents

By JOSHUA HAIAR, South Dakota Searchlight  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

A carbon pipeline project aimed at reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from the Midwest ethanol industry is irritating some within that very industry. Summit Carbon Solutions aims to transport carbon dioxide from ethanol plants to an underground storage site in North Dakota. Its CEO, Lee Blank, recently emphasized the importance of the pipeline for the ethanol industry in an interview with South Dakota Searchlight.  “Electric vehicles are continuing to grow,” he said. “They are, and maybe not here, but in cities. Our gas consumption is going down. So how do we open up other markets so ethanol consumption goes up?” [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

EVs and $9,000 Air Tanks: Iowa First Responders Fear the Dangers—and Costs—of CO2 Pipelines

By Kristoffer Tigue, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

From outdated equipment and evacuation plans to a lack of personnel and training, some Iowa first responders say they would be unable to safely carry out rescue operations in the case of a major carbon dioxide pipeline rupture. Many Iowans fear such a disaster is increasingly likely as developers, spurred by more than $12 billion in federal incentives, propose to build lengthy CO2 pipelines across the Midwest. [ read more … ]


California Pushes Electric Trucks as the Future of Freight

By Peter Eavis, Photographs by Mark Abramson, New York Times  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

Neri Diaz thought he was ready for a crucial juncture in California’s ambitious plans, closely watched in other states and around the world, to phase out diesel-powered trucks. His company, Harbor Pride Logistics, acquired 14 electric trucks this year to work alongside 32 diesel vehicles, in anticipation of a rule that says that after Monday, diesel rigs can no longer be added to the list of vehicles approved to move goods in and out of California’s ports. But in August the manufacturer of Mr. Diaz’s electric vehicles, Nikola, took back the trucks as part of a recall, saying it would return them in the first quarter of the new year. [ read more … ]

Primary 2024

Ethanol is a key Iowa issue for GOP presidential contenders

By Jared Strong, Iowa Capital Dispatch  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

The lone agriculture issue to cause serious contention among the candidates is ethanol, which Iowa also leads the nation in producing. Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy said he supports the ethanol industry, but when he was poised early this month to announce his forceful opposition to using eminent domain to build carbon dioxide pipelines — and to even question their purpose — the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association released a scathing critique of the candidate. The association called him a hypocrite for his support of an oil pipeline and lack of support for pipelines that might benefit ethanol producers and farmers. [ read more … ]


Electrify All the Big, Noisy, Belching Trucks

By Andrea Marpillero-Colomina, New York Times  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule in April to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in trucks manufactured and sold starting in model year 2027, a vitally important move, since trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for nearly 30 percent of the country’s road-transportation-related emissions. The goal was to create the conditions to ensure that a quarter of new heavy trucks sold in the United States are electric by 2032. But the rule is too weak: It would leave the United States far behind other nations and even the state of California, where truck manufacturers have already agreed to accept a plan to ban the sale of new diesel big rigs by 2036. [ read more … ]


Climate activists end 2023 with major court wins

By Lesley Clark, E&E News  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

Efforts to hold fossil fuel companies financially accountable for climate pollution and prod lawmakers to curb emissions scored major legal victories this year. The decisions — handed down by the nation’s highest bench, six federal appeals courts and a Montana judge — helped spur new climate lawsuits this year in California, the world’s fifth-largest economy and an oil-producing state. U.S. climate litigation is only expected to grow in 2024, following the Supreme Court’s rejection of oil industry bids to stop lawsuits that accuse Exxon Mobil and other companies of deceiving the public about the dangers of fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

We’re in for some big changes’: Takeaways from 2023’s environmental law battles

By Pamela King, E&E News  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

It’s been a year of legal whiplash for federal environmental regulators who — after being dealt a blow last year on a plan to tackle a leading source of climate pollution — are now adapting to a new framework for protecting wetlands. More transformations are expected in 2024 as the nation’s highest bench gears up to hear oral arguments in a case that has the potential to end a tool that helps federal agencies defend environmental rules in court. [ read more … ]


Ethanol production hits multi-year high

By John Perkins, Brownfield  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

U.S. ethanol production shot higher last week and stocks surged. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production averaged 1.107 million barrels a day, a jump of 36,000 on the week and 144,000 on the year, for the highest weekly average since late October 2021. That rise can be tied to producers trying to get ahead of the holiday slowdown.
[ read more … ]


Electric vehicle sales are slowing. No need for panic yet, insiders say.

By ABC News  •    •  Posted January 1, 2024

The recent headlines for electric vehicles have been brutal: Sales are dropping. Momentum is slipping. Consumers are souring on the technology. Experts say, however, that 2024 may be the year to finally pull the plug on gasoline-powered cars and trucks. “Five years ago we did not have the array of EVs we have now. They account for 10% of the market,” John Voelcker, a contributing editor at Car and Driver, told ABC News. “The growth rate may flatten … but the cost of EVs will continue to come down.” [ read more … ]

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