Navigator CO2 said it canceled its 1,350-mile carbon pipeline because of "unpredictable ... regulatory and government processes" in the five Midwestern states the pipeline would cross. The Heartland Greenway pipeline was among three projects proposed to capture carbon dioxide, mainly from ethanol plants, and transport it through pipelines for injection thousands of feet underground.
Former president Donald Trump, ignoring his own mixed record on biofuels, said at a rally in western Iowa that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his most viable challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, "totally despises Iowa ethanol and ethanol generally."
The EPA proposed a 10 percent increase, mostly reserved for cleaner-burning “advanced” biofuels, over three years in the federal mandate to mix biofuels into the U.S. gasoline supply, and said it would expand the Renewable Fuel Standard to include electricity generated from biogas and used in electric vehicles. The proposal, announced Thursday, would mean greater use of E15 and other blends of corn ethanol above the traditional 10 percent, said ethanol groups.
Iowa environmentalists say the plan to build three pipelines to move liquified carbon dioxide — collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries — to North Dakota and Illinois, where the carbon would be pumped underground, will simply prop up the fossil fuel industry and shower their agribusiness investors with tax credits.
As part of an effort to "re-set and strengthen" the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the EPA set the corn ethanol mandate at its highest level ever, 15.25 billion gallons, for this year. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline at present, so biofuel backers said consumers would benefit at the fuel pump with more ethanol in the gasoline supply.
Verbio North America says it will more than double the capacity of its plant in central Iowa to produce renewable natural gas from corn stover, and it plans to begin production of corn ethanol in the final months of the year. The facility was the first of three plants in the nation to return to biofuel production after faltering as a producer of cellulosic ethanol, made from grasses, woody plants and crop residue.
The EPA should rewrite the Renewable Fuel Standard to give corn ethanol a larger share of the gasoline market in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks quickly, said the head of the Renewable Fuels Association on Tuesday. "As the only existing federal law on the books today that requires the use of lower-carbon renewable fuels, the RFS should continue to serve as the bedrock for our nation's decarbonization efforts," said Geoff Cooper, RFA chief executive.
While many Republicans were swamped by the Watergate tide, Republican Chuck Grassley won election to the House in 1974 and will surpass half a century in Congress if elected to his eighth Senate term in 2022. Grassley announced for re-election on Friday and is regarded as the heavy favorite by political handicappers.
With the Biden administration and the major U.S. automakers investing heavily in electric vehicles, rural Americans — especially those connected to farming — are concerned about the future of biofuels. Given that ethanol, primarily made from corn, is blended with the gasoline that powers the vast majority of the nation’s vehicles, the prospect of replacing gasoline with electricity has enormous implications for the rural economy. In 2019, the global biofuels market amounted to over $136 billion.(No paywall)
U.S. ethanol production plunged 13 percent last year due to the pandemic, costing the industry around $4 billion in sales. But it may recover fully by 2023, on the strength of larger exports and rising domestic use of higher blends of ethanol into gasoline, said the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
President Trump "sold out ethanol to Big Oil" by handing out dozens of exemptions from the ethanol mandate, said Iowa farmer Pam Johnson, speaking for the Biden campaign, during a discussion of the agricultural platforms of the presidential candidates on Tuesday. "We haven't abandoned the RFS and we aren't going to — ever," retorted Trump representative Sam Clovis.
With an eye toward shoring up Farm Belt support less than two months before the election, President Trump directed the EPA to deny dozens of oil refiner requests for retroactive waivers from U.S. biofuel laws, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Ethanol production fell to record lows during April due to the coronavirus but is showing modest signs of recovery, said Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association. "It seems that the worst may be behind us," Cooper said during a teleconference.(No paywall)
Grants totaling $100 million will be available to install or retrofit fuel pumps and storage tanks to handle higher blends of corn ethanol and biodiesel than now commonly offered, said the USDA, with details to be available by mid-spring. "USDA will continue to do its part to encourage the use of home-grown energy," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
China, Brazil and the United States will help drive a dramatic global increase in ethanol consumption in the next 10 years, said a U.S. Grains Council analyst on Monday. However, the Sino-U.S. trade war will blunt the opportunity for ethanol from the United States, the world’s largest exporter, …
The Trump administration responded to months of Farm Belt complaints that it was undermining homegrown biofuels by vowing to increase the ethanol mandate, beginning next year, above the 15-billion-gallon-a-year target that is set by law. Officials did not specify a new figure for corn ethanol usage nor did its package include the oil industry's goal of a cap on the price of credits that refiners must buy if they do not mix enough ethanol into gasoline.
The Trump administration proposed a Renewable Fuel Standard of 20.04 billion gallons for 2020, meaning no change in corn ethanol's share of the gasoline market for cars and light trucks, while the share of that market going to cleaner-burning cellulosic ethanol, made from grass and woody plants, will increase by 120 million gallons. Farm groups and biofuel makers, who opened the summer with a celebration that higher-blend E15 was approved for year-round sale, said the EPA bowed to Big Oil.
President Trump, who campaigned for the White House as a friend of corn ethanol, said on Thursday that the administration is “very close” to approving year-round sales of a 15 percent blend of ethanol into gasoline. “We’re taking care of your ethanol,” said Trump during a trip to Iowa, the top corn-growing and ethanol-producing state.