In farm-state victory, EPA denies retro-exemptions from biofuel mandate

The EPA rejected more than four dozen requests by small petroleum refiners for retroactive exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard, said agency chief Andrew Wheeler on Monday in a decision that potentially expands the sale of corn-based ethanol. The announcement came 50 days before the …

Vilsack highlights Biden’s support of ethanol

Democrat Tom Vilsack, the former agriculture secretary and Iowa governor, made a virtual campaign sweep through the farm state last week on behalf of Joe Biden, emphasizing that the Democratic presidential nominee was a friend of ethanol. In virtual stops in Sioux City, Mason City, Council …

Trump failed on trade and ethanol, says Democratic farm forum

Rural America, and farmers in particular, voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016 but have suffered rather than benefitted for it, said speakers on a  "farmers and ranchers roundtable" organized by the Biden-Harris campaign. The forum, held 10 days ahead of the traditional fall campaign kickoff of Labor Day, criticized Trump for using agriculture as a pawn in the Sino-U.S. trade war and labeled him weak on ethanol.(No paywall)

Iowa to use coronavirus money for livestock, biofuel grants

Livestock producers in Iowa will be eligible for grants of up to $10,000 and biofuel producers for grants of up to $750,000 to offset the impact of the pandemic on agriculture in the state, announced Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, the same day she was expected to speak at the Republican National Convention.

Pence: ‘We have a ways to go’ in settling trade war with China

In a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Vice President Mike Pence pointed on Thursday to China's promises to roughly double its purchases of U.S. farm exports as evidence that there is "no greater fighter on trade than President Donald Trump." The pledge was part of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war and is scheduled for a six-month review by the two nations this weekend.

Coronavirus damage tops $3.4 billion, says ethanol industry

Gasoline consumption fell precipitously in the spring due to stay-at-home orders and the economic slowdown, cutting ethanol industry revenue by more than $3.4 billion, said the Renewable Fuels Association on Wednesday. (No paywall)

Farmers fall short of corn planting forecast

Deterred by trade war, the pandemic, and a bit of bad weather, U.S. farmers effectively chopped 1 billion bushels out of this year’s corn crop by planting far less of the crop than they had planned in early spring, USDA data indicated on Tuesday. “This was a huge acreage …

In new fuel clash, oil refiners ask for 52 retroactive ethanol exemptions

Oil refiners are attempting to evade an adverse appellate court ruling by asking the EPA for retroactive exemptions from the ethanol mandate, said biofuel trade groups on Thursday. Refiners have filed 52 petitions for exemptions stretching as far back as 2011, potentially creating a chain of annual waivers that would allow them to seek exemptions now.

When it comes to RFS petitions, Wheeler makes no promises

Senators with opposite views of the ethanol mandate verbally leaned on EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday, with one asking for relief from the requirement to mix the biofuel into gasoline and the other calling for him to unflinchingly enforce it. Wheeler said he has not reached a decision on petitions to waive the RFS during the coronavirus pandemic. (No paywall)

Worst may be over, says ethanol leader

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)