Trump administration weakens fuel economy standards

Federal agencies sided with the oil industry in relaxing the gasoline mileage requirements for cars and light trucks in model years 2021 to 2026, said the pro-ethanol group Renewable Fuels Association. The DOT and EPA finalized the new standards, which were proposed two years ago, on Tuesday, …

Ethanol market is ‘disturbing as hell’ to American farmers. And now there’s Covid-19.

Some 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is refined into ethanol, but over the last two weeks, Covid-19 has joined a host of other disrupting factors to create what Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, calls “not just a perfect storm for ethanol, but a perfect tsunami.” Since the outbreak, ethanol prices have plunged to an all-time low of 88 cents a gallon and manufacturers are warning of more plant closures and reduced run rates.(No paywall)

Farm and ethanol leaders to administration: Don’t file that appeal

President Trump will endanger his standing with farmers, who voted for him in landslide numbers in 2016, if his administration appeals a U.S. appellate court ruling against RFS exemptions, said ag and biofuel leaders on Wednesday.

Water reuse may become part of USDA programs

As part of an administration initiative, the USDA will consider including reused water, also known as recycled or reclaimed water, in its land stewardship and community development programs. "Water reuse is going to be how agriculture continues to increase productivity while decreasing our environmental footprint," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday.

Sarasota officials oppose EPA aquaculture pilot project

The city commissioners of Sarasota, Florida, decided Monday to send a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing an aquaculture pilot project that sought to farm fish about 45 miles off the city's coast. In the letter, signed by Sarasota mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, the commissioners file "strong and formal opposition" to the project.

Nearing end of review, EPA finds no risk to human health from glyphosate

Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, poses no threat to human health when used as directed and is unlikely to cause cancer, said the EPA in an interim decision on Thursday. Environmental groups denounced the decision as faulty.

At Trump’s direction, U.S. reduces upstream reach of clean water law

Decrying what it called regulatory overreach, the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it will limit enforcement of clean water laws to oceans, rivers, core tributaries, and adjacent wetlands. Environmentalists said the move would leave half of U.S. wetlands and millions of miles of streams without protection from pollution.

Oceans could provide far more food in the future, reports say

Oceans could provide far more protein for the world’s food supply than they do now, especially from aquaculture, but aggressive action is needed to better manage fisheries and mitigate the impact of climate change, according to two reports released Thursday.

Why don’t we know how much livestock farms pollute the air?

America's thousands of confinement livestock operations pollute the air every day with chemicals like ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. Yet no one tracks exactly how much air pollution these farms produce, according to FERN's latest story, published with The Nation.(No paywall)

Ten pesticides approved for use on industrial hemp

With the 2020 growing season on the horizon, the EPA announced on Thursday the approval of 10 pesticides for use on industrial hemp, the first such products cleared for hemp. The 2018 farm bill legalized cultivation of the crop and the USDA released guidelines in October that opened the gate …