Renewable Fuels Standard

To reduce carbon emissions, use more ethanol, says biofuel group

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.

House report calls for major action on climate, lays out ag plan

House Democrats released a massive report on Tuesday calling for widespread changes in the economy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050, laying out in effect a policy blueprint after the 2020 election. “To turn the tide on climate change, the United States needs to …

Trump tells oil-patch senators to look for a biofuel compromise

President Trump, a staunch supporter of corn ethanol, told nine senators from oil-producing states to take their complaints about federal biofuel mandates to their farm-state colleagues and find a mutually acceptable solution.

Biofuels industry laments it didn’t get more in new RFS targets

Farm-state officials played their Trump card six weeks ago, calling in White House support to quash potential cuts in the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets U.S. targets for biofuel consumption.

Biofuels mandate effectively is 20 billion gallons, not 36 billion gallons

In 2007, Congress set a goal of mixing 36 billion gallons of biofuels, the bulk of it coming from second-generation "advanced" fuels, into gasoline annually, beginning in 2022. Economist Jonathan Coppess of the University of Illinois says the "actual, effective floor" for biofuels will be 20 billion gallons, based on the recent U.S. appellate court ruling that clarifies the EPA's power to adjust the so-called Renewable Fuels Standard.

Perdue assures farmers, ‘You grow it and we’ll sell it’

Standing in shirtsleeves on a hay rack at an Iowa farm, Agriculture Secretary discarded his prepared speech in favor of repeated promises to be an unstinting advocate of U.S. food and ag exports, which generate 20 percent of farm income. President Trump supports biofuels, said Perdue, adding, "I think it was the boss who said we're not going to mess with the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard)."

Biofuel policy change: ‘Not happening’ but under review

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the Trump administration's nominee for U.S. ambassador to China, says he is assured that a change in the Renewable Fuels Standard sought by oil refiners "is not going to happen," reported Radio Iowa. But a White House official told Reuters the proposal was under review, although the administration took no position "either way on this issue at this time."

Ethanol rumors swirl and die, as does corn market rally

The corn ethanol industry squabbled over a rumored White House overhaul of the Renewable Fuels Standard, which guarantees biofuels a share of the gasoline market and provides a market for more than a third of the U.S. corn crop. By the end of the day, however, the White House knocked down talk that it would allow year-round sales of a 15 percent blend of ethanol, a step up from the 10 percent blend that is now standard, and potentially a large expansion in ethanol sales.

Trump tells ethanol conference ‘renewable fuels are essential’

As a candidate, Donald Trump supported corn ethanol and, one month after taking office, he reiterated his view, telling the National Ethanol Conference, "renewable fuels are essential to America's energy strategy." The industry is under perennial attack by the oil industry and by some environmental groups, that want to reduce or eliminate the federal mandate to use biofuels.

Pruitt says will enforce RFS, doesn’t rule out waivers

EPA nominee Scott Pruitt told senators that he would enforce the federal mandate to blend biofuels into the U.S. gasoline supply, reserving the right to adjust the Renewable Fuels Standard to reflect market conditions. Newly elected Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth said the "nice-sounding but ultimately vague" answer could allow him to gut the program, popular in farm country and hated by the oil industry.

Pruitt says he will enforce biofuels mandate as EPA chief

With President-elect Donald Trump figuratively looking over his shoulder, Scott Pruitt assured Farm Belt senators that he will support the Renewable Fuels Standard, which guarantees biofuels a share of the gasoline market, if he is confirmed as EPA administrator. Pruitt is state attorney general in Oklahoma, an oil-producing state, which raised questions about whether he would enforce the biofuels mandate.

Ethanol mandate won’t be uprooted, says Vilsack

The ethanol industry is too well-established in rural American to be dismantled, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told Bloomberg as the deadline nears for an EPA announcement of the so-called ethanol mandate for 2017. "The Renewable Fuels Standard is solid," Vilsack said.

After voting heavily for Trump, rural America wants to change his mind

President-elect Donald Trump carried almost all of the farm states, from the Carolinas across the Midwest into the Plains, rolling up a 2-to-1 margin against Democrat Hillary Clinton with promises of lower taxes and less regulation. Farm groups, with a politically conservative membership, said they hoped to educate him on the importance of exports for farm prosperity.

Veteran lobbyist Torrey heads USDA transition team

Food and ag policy consultant Michael Torrey, a former Senate staffer and USDA official, is leading the Trump transition effort for the Agriculture Department, reports Politico, citing an organizational chart circulating on Capitol Hill. Torrey was was a deputy assistant agriculture secretary and later deputy USDA chief of staff during President George W. Bush's first term.

Head of Trump team on EPA is ethanol critic, climate-change skeptic

Myron Ebell, the head of Donald Trump's transition team for EPA, "is a long-time opponent of the Renewable Fuels Standard and ethanol policies," says DTN. In addition, Ebell, who works at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, "also is a renowned skeptic of climate science."

Trump ‘looking very hard’ at naming a rancher, or farmer, EPA chief

National policy adviser Sam Clovis says the Trump campaign is "looking very hard at putting a farmer or rancher in charge of the EPA." Given the impact that federal regulations can have on the sector, Clovis said on the AgriTalk radio program, "we think this would be an appropriate issue for us."

Contested primary is all about ethanol, says Rep. King

Seven-term U.S. Rep. Steve King says ethanol is the root cause of the challenge he faces in the Republican primary election to represent northwestern Iowa in the U.S. House. During the "Iowa Press" program on Iowa Public Television, King said it was a "a fair statement" that he attracted opposition because he supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the presidential caucuses.

DuPont says EPA crimps market for advanced biofuels

DuPont says in a court filing that EPA's decision to lower the targets for the Renewable Fuels Standard puts at risk its investment in a 30-million-gallon-a-year cellulosic plant in central Iowa, reports DTN.

Ethanol still an export winner thanks to biofuels mandates

Thanks to the prolonged decline of petroleum prices, gasoline costs less than ethanol nowadays. But the upside-down situation is not likely to impair exports, says Good in an article at farmdoc daily.

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