Top News Stories This Week
Déjà Vu As Energy AWOL From Stimulus Markers.
President Trump speaking in the Oval Office yesterday. To his left are House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
E&E NEWS | July 21, 2020 — Congress and the White House are moving toward frenetic negotiations to enact another phase of COVID-19 relief in the coming weeks, but assistance for struggling energy sectors once again is conspicuously absent from the two parties' early priorities.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday that he will brief Senate Republicans on the White House's position on pandemic relief, which he signaled will start "with another $1 trillion."
"We think that will make a big impact, and the focus ... is really about kids and jobs and vaccines," he said yesterday at the White House following a meeting with President Trump and GOP leaders.
Mnuchin, who has led talks with Democrats on past pandemic relief bills, is expected to meet with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and House and Senate Democratic leaders this afternoon to convene negotiations.
Biden Support For US Cleantech Innovation ‘Will Raise The Bar’ Internationally
T The US presidential contender has pledged to invest in research and development to tackle the climate crisis if elected, in a plan welcomed. by experts.
CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Chloé Farand | July 15, 2020 — US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan to spur innovation in clean technology will ripple beyond America’s borders, experts say.
The Democratic nominee in this year’s US presidential election pledged to pursue “historic” investments in energy innovation and accelerate research and development on clean technologies “on a scale well beyond the Apollo programme” – which took the first men to the moon in 1969.
Cliona Howie, head of circular economy at EIT Climate-KIC, a European project that supports clean technology innovation, told Climate Home News the plan, while focused on developing American technologies, could have global benefits.
Cash Boost For US Biofuels Infrastructure
America’s energy independence is critical to our economic security, and President Trump fully recognises the importance of our ethanol and biofuels industries.
B IOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | July 20, 2020 —The US Department of Agriculture intends to make available up to $100 million (€87 million) in grants for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.
The announcement was made by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
He said: “America’s energy independence is critical to our economic security, and President Trump fully recognises the importance of our ethanol and biofuels industries and the positive impacts they deliver to consumers and farmers with an affordable, abundant and clean-burning fuel.
“American ethanol and biofuel producers have been affected by decreased energy demands due to the coronavirus, and these grants to expand their availability will help increase their use during our economic resurgence.”
Air bp Supplies Sustainable Aviation Fuel To Airbus
To enable SAF to be used for these flights, Air bp established a supply route, including transportation and storage facilities at the airport.
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | July 20, 2020 — Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, is collaborating with Airbus to supply sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The SAF will be used in two Air Transat A321LR destined for Montreal, Canada, from Airbus’s facility at Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport.
To enable SAF to be used for these flights, Air bp established a supply route, including transportation and storage facilities at the airport.
As part of this agreement, Air bp also supplied SAF for transportation flights from Hamburg on Airbus A300-600STs in December 2019. READ MORE
Political Football Season Returns With RFS
EPA should have immediately thrown a flag on these petitions. They disregard the January decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10 th Circuit.
BIOFUELS DIGEST | By Donnell Rehagen, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, Special to The Digest | July 20, 2020 If you’re craving the excitement of live sports played by highly paid professionals, perhaps you’ll want to watch the back and forth in Washington’s annual Renewable Fuel Standard game. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something where the rules are clearer and the timing more predictable, then perhaps you’ll tune in to cricket matches instead.
Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency has turned the RFS into a political football. In June, the agency disclosed it is considering 52 newly filed small refinery exemptions petitions, covering compliance years from 2018 all the way back to 2011. This month, refiners upped the number to 58 petitions, one for every year between 2011 and 2016. These come on top of the flood of 85 exemptions EPA granted from 2016 to 2018 – which destroyed demand for more than 500 million gallons of biodiesel – and the 27 pending for 2019. The “gap” exemptions, as they’re called, could destroy demand for another 300 million gallons of biodiesel or more. READ MORE
The 7 Priorities to De-Carbonize Now Through Sustainable Biofuels, Rather Than Waiting For Future Technologies
The industry detailed its 7-point recommendations in a position paper which you can download here .
BIOFUELS DIGEST | By Jim Lane | July 15, 2020 —
1. Increase the share of renewable energies in transport
2. Raise capping limit for biofuels from cultivated biomass and hence create a level playing field on an international level
3. Increase greenhouse gas reduction quota
4. Establish framework conditions for higher blending quotas
5. Tighten requirements for sustainability certification and documentation obligations
6. Enable crediting of biofuels to CO2 fleet emission values
7. Fund biofuel system research and model regions. READ MORE
COVID-19 Response and November Election: The Digest’s 2020 Multi-Slide Guide to 2020 Biofuel Issues to Watch
BIOFUELS DIGEST | By Jim Lane | July 16, 2020 — Michael McAdams from Advanced Biofuels Association shared this short but illuminating slide guide at ABLC Digital last week to look at the big 2020 issues to watch affecting the biofuels industry. From tax credits, regulatory issues, COVID-19 legislation and responses, and the big fork in the road – the November 2020 election – McAdams delves into what might happen and how it affects biofuels.
Malaysia Anticipates Legal Action With EU Over Palm Oil Dispute
Malaysia and Indonesia are the world's biggest palm oil exporters. Palm is not allowed to be used as a feedstck in the U.S.  
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | July 15, 2020 —Malaysia plans legal action against the European Union's plan to phase out palm oil-based biofuels by 2030 in a dispute settlement mechanism under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Plantation industries and commodities minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the legal action was in keeping with the trade principles within the WTO.
The EU policy was adopted to halt the use of crops that cause deforestation in transportation fuel.
Razali said the EU's policies under its European Union Renewable Energy Directive II (EU RED II) Delegation Regulation was an unreasonable ban on the sustainability efforts being implemented by Malaysia. READ MORE
Velocys Backs Call For More Investment In Sustainable Aviation Technology
Velocys’ planned UK facility, Altalto, was referenced as an example of a flagship project that could benefit from such investment.
BIOFUELS INTERNATIONAL | July 21, 2020—Velocys has welcomed the publication of a letter to the UK Chancellor from a cross-party group of MPs, calling for the Government to enhance investment in aviation decarbonisation.
The letter stated the importance of synthetic fuels as the realistic practical solution to lower carbon emissions and meet net zero targets.
The letter, sponsored by Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady and Labour MP Catherine McKinnell and backed by parliamentarians from the Conservative, Labour, SNP and Lib Dem benches, calls for Government to provide £500m in industry-matched funding for early stage sustainable aviation fuel facilities.
It also called for increased funding for R&D into new cleaner aircraft and accelerate the modernisation of UK airspace. READ MORE
Vulnerable States Urge EU To Link Recovery Funds To Tougher 2030 Climate Target
      In a rare intervention in EU politics, poor and small island nations urged leaders to rebuild the economy in line with a 55% emissions cut by 2030.
EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meeting with the 27 national leaders in Brussels.

CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Chloé Farand | July 17, 2020—Vulnerable countries are urging the EU to link its coronavirus recovery funds and seven-year budget to a tougher 2030 climate target. 
Leaders from 27 member states are meeting this weekend to agree on the terms of the European Commission’s proposed €1 trillion budget for the next seven years (2021-2027) and a €750 billion recovery fund to weather the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
The EU Commission has promised to deliver a “ green recovery ” in line with its commitments under the European Green Deal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – a move backed by a majority of member states. READ MORE
Portugal Ends Coal Burning Two Years Ahead Of Schedule
Portugal is the third EU country this year to announce early closure of its last coal plants, as rising carbon costs and competition from gas and clean energy bite.
EDP's Sines coal power plant was responsible for 13.5% of CO2 emissions in Portugal, according to 2016 data.
CLIMATE HOME NEWS | By Frédéric Simon for Euractiv | July 15, 2020 —Portuguese energy utility EDP has announced the closure of its Sines coal power plant, bringing forward the planned shutdown of coal-fired power plants in the country by two years, from 2023 to 2021.
In addition to Sines, the company is preparing to close one more plant and convert another unit in Spain, EDP said in a  statement .
The decision is “part of EDP group’s decarbonisation strategy” and was taken in a context in which energy production increasingly depends on renewable sources, the company said on Monday (13 July).
The falling cost of renewables, coupled with the rising cost of CO2 pollution permits on the EU carbon market, means that “the prospects for the viability of coal plants have drastically decreased,” EDP added. READ MORE
July 21, 2020
July 21, 2020
City Buses In Grand Forks, North Dakota, Running On B20 Biodiesel
Biodiesel is a high-performance fuel. It enhances the lubricity of diesel, reducing wear and prolonging engine life. It acts as a detergent to keep injectors and fuel systems clean and has high cetane for quicker starts and less smoke.
Cities Area Transit buses serving the Grand Cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, are running on B20 and sporting new biodiesel messaging.
BIODIESEL MAGAZINE | By The North Dakota Soybean Council | July 16, 2020 — This summer Cities Area Transit buses in Grand Forks, North Dakota, are running on a different fuel than normal. CAT recently switched to fueling its fleet with B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel is produced from a variety of feedstocks including the oil found in soybeans grown right here in North Dakota. It is a clean, renewable alternative to diesel fuel, typically blended into diesel fuel in varying ratios from 5 to 20 percent. READ MORE
2020 FEW, Co-located Biodiesel Summit To Go Virtual Sept. 15-17
The virtual FEW will include a general session, a live virtual expo hall, all the listed track sessions, preconference events.
BIODIESEL MAGAZINE | By BBI International | July 16, 2020 — BBI International announced July 16 that the ethanol industry’s largest conference, the 2020 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo , along with the inaugural co-located Biodiesel Production Technology Summit , have been moved and will be virtual, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The events will now take place Sept. 15-17, 2020, and will be a live online event only.
The virtual FEW will include a general session, a live virtual expo hall, all the listed track sessions, preconference events, the co-located Biodiesel Production Technology Summit and the ACE Annual Conference. READ MORE
Study Of Emissions And Virus Deaths Implicates EPA Policy
Soot and ozone rose in counties with more industrial facilities that report emissions to an EPA pollution database.
A new study looks at the links between air pollution and COVID-19 risks.
E&E News | By  Sean Reilly | July 17, 2020 — A new study offers fresh evidence of a connection between dirty air and COVID-19 deaths, while suggesting that a 4-month-old EPA civil enforcement freeze has made the situation worse.
The working paper by American University researchers found concentrations of soot and ozone rose in counties with more industrial facilities that report emissions to an EPA pollution database since the agency relaxed enforcement in late March.
Overall, those counties had a 19% increase in daily death rates from COVID-19 from late March through most of May, compared to counties with fewer such facilities, the paper says. That increase was accompanied by an almost 39% jump in total cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus, with stronger results in areas with larger numbers of Black and unemployed residents, according to the research. READ MORE
Marathon Acquires Duonix Biodiesel Plant in Beatrice, Nebraska
 According to the Marathon spokesperson, the Beatrice, Nebraska, pretreatment facility is expected to be operational by early next year.
BIODIESEL MAGAZINE | By Ron Kotrba | July 20, 2020 — Marathon Petroleum Corp. has purchased the 50 MMgy Duonix biodiesel plant in Beatrice, Nebraska, which was idled in 2019 by joint-venture owners Flint Hills Resources and Benefuel. A company spokesperson told Biodiesel Magazine that Marathon plans to use the facility to aggregate and pretreat feedstocks such as corn oil, soybean oil and rendered fats before shipping them to its renewable diesel facility in Dickinson, North Dakota. READ MORE
Crop Conundrum
For those who were able to grow a good crop, the pandemic and ongoing trade disputes have taken shots at the market. And farmers are on the front lines.
WEST DAKOTA FOX (KFYR) | By Jacob Notermann | BISMARCK, N.D. | July 17, 2020 — Across the county, farmers planted 92 million acres of corn, and expect to harvest 84 million, according to the USDA. However, North Dakota is facing an economic bottleneck.
Farmers are anticipating a good harvest, but don’t think the demand will be there.
Spring harvest is underway. Better late than never. But the delays to that planting season are rolling into this one. And the July rain isn’t doing the planting schedule any favors.
Some parts of the state are in a drought, others are flooded. And that’s forcing many to wait to plant.
“It’s a struggle. It’s still extremely wet down here. We’re still battling it. We’re one of the areas that have been receiving really good moisture. So we’ve got a nice crop coming,” said Paul Thomas, ND Crown Growers Association.
And they’re worried these issues will roll into next year as well. But things get tougher down the economic chain. READ MORE
RIN Prices To Remain Rangebound Amid Lack of Exemption Clarity: Sources
Volatility in RINs markets has dropped to multi-month lows as refiners have bought just enough of the credits to cover obligations.
Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) is fighting for farmers and ethanol producers over the small refinery exemptions.
S&P GLOBAL PLATTS | New York | July 17, 2020 — A lack of certainty on how the US Environmental Protection Agency will respond to petitions for small refinery exemptions from biofuel blending mandates will continue to keep RINs in a tight range, sources said July 17.
D6 RINs will "just float between 45 and 50 cents," said one market participant.
S&P Global Platts assessed current-year D6 RINs at 46.75 cents/RIN July 17, down 0.25 cent from July 16.
Current-year D6 RINs have hovered in the mid- to high 40s cents/RIN range since the end of May.
Volatility in RINs markets has dropped to multi-month lows, based on S&P Global Platts data, as refiners have bought just enough of the credits to cover obligations. READ MORE
DOE Still Reviewing Gap-year Small Oil Refiner Petitions
Still under DOE review, despite biofuel allies’ calls to reject them, outright.
(Washington, D.C.) | July 17, 2020 — U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette shed some new light on the Trump Administration’s handling of small oil refinery ‘gap-year’ renewable fuel waiver requests—a key issue for ethanol and gasoline producers ahead of the November election.
Brouillette signaled to the House Energy subcommittee, the 52 ‘gap-year’ retroactive small oil refiner waiver petitions for requests rejected by EPA in earlier years, are still under DOE review, despite biofuel allies’ calls to reject them, outright.
Brouillette says the Energy Department must review the requests that EPA submits, but made this concession to Iowa Democrat Dave Loebsack on following a federal court ruling against most of the waivers. READ MORE