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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
NEWS UPDATE November 20, 2019

Today’s News

Cellulosic Production Idled

By Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor  •    •  Posted November 20, 2019

In another response to EPA’s actions regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC announced Tuesday the company will “pause” production of cellulosic ethanol at its Project Liberty plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels is a 50-50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET LLC, created in response to the RFS. The plant has produced cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs and other corn fiber such as husks. The ethanol plant will instead by shifted to focus on research and development and improving operational efficiency, company officials said. POET executives made it clear the decision to stop cellulosic ethanol production at the plant “is a result of EPA’s challenges with the implementation” of the RFS.
[ read more … ]

Poet will ‘pause production’ at its Iowa plant that makes ethanol from corn cobs, husks

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted November 20, 2019

 Blaming the federal government for failing to support the industry, a South Dakota company said Tuesday it will stop production in northwest Iowa of an environmentally friendly ethanol that’s made from corn cobs, stalks and other crop residue. Poet, the nation’s largest ethanol producer, said it will continue research and development at the Emmetsburg plant it opened in 2014. [ read more … ]

Trade

Iowa Poll: Despite state impacts, registered Republicans approve of how Trump has handled trade with China

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

Three-fourths of Iowa’s registered Republicans back President Donald Trump’s approach to trade with China, and half say his tariffs have done more to help than harm Iowa agribusiness, a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.  The poll includes 502 registered Republicans who do not plan to caucus for Democrats in 2020. But just over half of these Republicans approve of his handling of ethanol policy, an issue that has put several farm and renewable fuels groups at odds with the administration, the poll shows. [ read more … ]

SREs

Farmers’ Cycle Of Disappointment: EPA Comment Period Ends In 11 Days

By Josh Cook, Iowa Starting Line  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

The Environment Protection Agency’s public comment period for review of its handling of the Renewable Fuel Standard is up at the end of November. After months of broken promises, farmers and biodiesel leaders in Iowa aren’t getting their hopes up about recouping the billions of renewable fuel gallons lost. “We have to see the results and the details before we feel like the industry is going to be okay. What’s also been made clear to us, is that this isn’t simply the EPA overstepping what [President Donald] Trump wants,” said Aaron Lehman, president of the Iowa Farmers Union. “This is Trump’s EPA, there’s no separating the two at this point. Clearly, we know where the blame lies for where we’re at to this point.” [ read more … ]

Perdue: Lower ethanol exports hurting farmers more than RFS waivers

By Rhiannon Branch, Brownfield  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

Ag Secretary Perdue says there is a lot of emotion around RFS waivers, but that is not the ethanol topic hurting agriculture the most. “Most of the macroeconomic issues we have had with ethanol this year have been because of lower exports, not small refinery waivers and I’ve got the facts to prove it.” “But I want to put it really simple, the President expects, I expect, and we have communicated to Andrew Wheeler and the EPA that 15 billion gallons equals 15 billion gallons.” Perdue says once they can approve that agreement, he thinks people will understand President Trump’s commitment to the issue.
[ read more … ]

EVs

EV groups, air officials back Calif. tailpipe rules

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

Electric vehicle groups and California air regulators last week waded into a legal fight over the federal government’s efforts to prevent the Golden State from setting its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars. The National Coalition for Advanced Transportation, a group that supports electric vehicle infrastructure, hitched onto lawsuits launched by states and green groups against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s move to preempt California’s ability to set stricter vehicle emissions limits than those imposed by the federal government. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

House Democrats float sweeping green energy bill

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

Thompson’s bill would extend a number of lapsed incentives for biofuels, including the biodiesel blenders’ credit, which would be extended at $1 a gallon through 2021 before phasing down to 75 cents in 2022, 50 cents in 2023 and 33 cents in 2024. It would then expire. Extending that credit is a top priority of Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and its inclusion could help put some of the provisions of Thompson’s bill in play in year-end negotiations on tax extenders. [ read more … ]

Lawmakers intensify pressure on EPA over electricity fuels

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted November 19, 2019

EPA’s juggling act over renewable fuels may soon become a little more complicated. Senators who support renewable electricity in the fuels law — a sideshow to the battle over liquid biofuel that goes in cars and trucks — want the agency to take action on applications that have sat idle. The long-building dust-up over the so-called electric pathway in the renewable fuel standard comes as EPA grapples with a bigger fight over biofuel mandates that has reached the highest levels of the Trump administration. [ read more … ]

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