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)
The ethanol industry is optimistic the Biden administration will issue far fewer exemptions from the ethanol mandate than the Trump administration did despite a Supreme Court setback. Justices overturned, 6-3, an appellate court ruling that greatly restricted the eligibility of small refineries for "hardship" waivers from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Trump appointee William Perry Pendley served unlawfully as acting head of the Bureau of Land Management for 424 days, a U.S. district judge ruled in ordering Pendley's immediate removal from office. Chief District Judge Brian Morris, based in Great Falls, Montana, said he would hear arguments in the near future on which of Pendley's orders must be vacated, reported Drovers.
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.
The EPA will adjust the Renewable Fuel Standard to "net out" at 15 billion gallons in 2020 after waivers to some oil refineries, said administrator Andrew Wheeler. During a broadcast interview, Wheeler said the agency expects to release soon a detailed version of its plan, intended as a compromise between the ethanol and oil industries.
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.
Roughly ten days ago, Midwestern senators left a meeting with President Trump believing they had an agreement to solidify corn ethanol’s share of the gasoline market. Yet Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday he had no idea why the administration has not announced the plan, arguing “it ought …
Although most producers say Trump tariff payments will "completely or somewhat" relieve the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war on their operations, farmer confidence is plummeting, according to a Purdue University poll released Tuesday. The Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the health of the agricultural economy, fell from a record high of 153 in July to the lowest reading — 124 — since May.(No paywall)
President Trump will soon announce a plan to boost demand for biofuels. At least that’s what Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told participants in a policy forum at the Illinois Farm Progress Show on Wednesday. But no one — including Trump or Perdue — seems to know exactly what that plan will be, let alone when it will be announced or implemented.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin work in February to allow year-round sale of E15 and complete the regulation in May, just ahead of the usual June 1 cutoff of summer sales. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, from the top corn and ethanol state, said on Tuesday that the agency "ought to speed it up" to be sure the fuel will be available for the summer driving season.
The biofuel group Growth Energy called on the EPA to stop handing out waivers it says oil refiners are using to avoid complying with the federal mandate to mix corn ethanol into gasoline.
Five corn-state senators want to meet President Trump face to face to warn him against the oil industry's proposal of a cap on the price of RINs, the credits that refiners must buy if they don't blend enough ethanol into gasoline. Oil-state senators, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, say the cap is needed to preserve jobs at oil refineries; midwesterners say it would destroy the market for corn ethanol.
President Trump will meet oil industry leaders and their congressional allies for a discussion of the biofuels mandate, reported Reuters, based on two sources. The meeting "could set the stage for negotiations to overhaul the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard," said the wire service; the industry has pressed for years to eliminate the mandate or revise its requirement to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuel.
The largest of the ethanol trade groups, the Renewable Fuels Association, is out in the cold for supporting a change in the program that gives biofuels a share of the U.S. gasoline market. Fuels America, an agribusiness coalition "committed to protecting America's Renewable Fuels Standard," severed ties with RFA, while the second-largest ethanol group, Growth Energy, said the RFA was doing the dirty work of the oil industry.