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Old July 8th, 2018, 05:15 AM   #281
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The car culture is so ingrained on Americans, that even if public transportation suddenly was available in the suburbs people would still drive. People like to drive and that's fine, but if we want to make a parading shift and make people like to bike, walk etc then zoning should be rethought. With every new suburban housing block that sprawls they should facilitate retail space inside for things like a mom and pop grocery stores, etc. That'd help people stop using their cars for stupid reasons like driving 3 or more miles away to the Walmart for beers or a gallon of milk.
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Old September 22nd, 2018, 07:01 PM   #282
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Sep 20, 2018
EPA details broad expansion of biofuel waiver program
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published new data detailing how it drastically expanded a biofuels waiver program for oil refiners since President Donald Trump’s administration took office, responding to pressure from the corn lobby to boost transparency over the opaque program.

The details published on the EPA’s website on Thursday showed the agency issued exemptions for 29 small refineries for 2017, freeing them from their requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel, according to agency data released on Thursday.

That was up from 19 waivers granted for 2016 and 7 in 2015, the EPA said.

The data provides the most complete picture of the EPA’s expansion of the controversial small refinery waiver program to date. The waivers save the oil industry money, but biofuels groups worry they also cut into the nation’s demand for ethanol and other biofuels, and have criticized Trump’s EPA for over using the exemptions.

“Increasing transparency will improve implementation of the RFS and provide stakeholders and the regulated community the certainty and clarity they need to make important business and compliance decisions,” EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

The data showed that the number of gallons exempted from the RFS under the 29 waivers granted in 2017 amounted to 13.62 billion, nearly double the 7.8 billion exempted in 2016.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1M02IO
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Old October 30th, 2018, 07:45 PM   #283
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Oct 30, 2018
Brazil's Bolsonaro backs ethanol industry, pledges partnership
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - President-elect Jair Bolsonaro backed Brazil’s ethanol industry and pledged to be a partner of the biofuel sector, according to remarks aired on Monday during an international sugar conference in Sao Paulo.

Right-wing Bolsonaro, who beat leftist Fernando Haddad in a run-off vote on Sunday, said in a video that he would like to see Brazil retake global leadership in ethanol production, which it lost to the United States some years ago.

“In the past, we were leaders on this front and we will once again lead, certainly,” he said in the video presented by congressman Evandro Gussi, who authored the bill passed in Congress this year that implements Brazil’s new policy to boost consumption of renewable fuels called RenovaBio.

This industry “is very important. It reduces carbon emissions, and from something that is ours, gives energy to Brazil. You can count on us, we are partners on this issue,” Bolsonaro said.

Gussi said he recorded the video some days ago, before the run-off vote.

The RenovaBio program is seen by many in Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industry as a lifeline to mills that are in a difficult financial situation after several years of low prices for the biofuel and the sweetener.

The new policy, which has yet to be fully regulated by the federal government that will take power on Jan. 1, gives fuel distributors growing targets for annual traded volumes of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

There were doubts in the ethanol industry if Bolsonaro, who at one point threatened to pull out of the Paris climate treaty, would back the policy and go ahead with its implementation.
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Old November 14th, 2018, 02:09 PM   #284
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Nov 10, 2018
U.S. ethanol producers feeling the pinch from Trump trade war
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NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol producers drew a bleak picture of their industry in quarterly filings and analyst calls this week, detailing how the critical farm belt business has been devastated by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and biofuels management policies that they say have tilted toward oil refiners.

The ethanol business had grown for years at breakneck speed but its outlook has dimmed due to Washington’s aggressive protectionist stance and the administration’s unpredictable management of its renewable fuel program.

No. 4 U.S. ethanol producer Green Plains Inc reported a net loss of $12.5 million in the third quarter. The company has idled plants to trim soaring inventories and boost margins, it said Thursday. The company recently sold three plants and a vinegar business to help pay down debt. CEO Todd Becker and others noted that China had been expected to import 200 million gallons of ethanol this year but has instead been out of the market for months due to Trump’s trade war. Becker said Chinese buying would wipe out the U.S. supply glut, which he estimated at about 120 million gallons.

Archer Daniels Midland Co and Pacific Ethanol Inc, other big producers, also reported problems related to the trade fight.

As recently as February, China was the No. 2 global market for U.S. ethanol, which consumes about a third of the domestic corn crop. Then Beijing boosted import tariffs on several high-value American agricultural goods including ethanol, soybeans and pork, pressuring prices for each.

U.S. ethanol futures of $1.26 per gallon are near the lowest in more than a decade. Current stockpiles of 23.150 million barrels (972.3 million gallons) are just below a record from earlier this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The ethanol industry “is in a negative margin position. I wouldn’t say there are many plants that would be positive, even our best plants,” Becker said.

Pacific Ethanol, the No. 6 U.S. ethanol producer, told investors last week that it idled 10 percent of its production capacity to battle high inventories and slumping margins. Its shares have sunk to less than $2 each.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1NE2GH
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Old December 19th, 2018, 06:34 PM   #285
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Dec 18, 2018
U.S. ethanol producers seek pricing reform as markets plunge, ADM sells
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NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol producers stung by collapsing prices are seeking changes to the way benchmark values for the biofuel are established, arguing the current system used by exchanges is vulnerable to manipulation, according to sources.

The push comes as the key farm belt industry struggles with weak demand growth, a loss of export markets due to the U.S. trade war with China, and aggressive selling by global commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) that have pushed ethanol prices to 13-year lows.

ADM is better placed to survive a long stretch of low prices than its ethanol-focused U.S. rivals, many of whom are concerned the company is deliberately pressuring the biofuel market lower to drive them out of business and are keen for a stable hedging tool to defend against further dips.

Top U.S. ethanol producer POET LLC has asked the CME Group (CME.O) to change its pricing method for a key swap contract used by the industry to hedge, and the rival ICE exchange is contemplating offering an alternative to CME’s product after discussions with biofuels companies, according to three sources familiar with the moves who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

CME’s Chicago ethanol swap contract CUUc1 is the most widely used derivative instrument the industry uses to protect itself against market fluctuations. But traders have recently been reluctant to use the contract for fear it will expose them to further losses due to the strong selling by ADM.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1OG1YX
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 11:08 PM   #286
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American cities are still very car-oriented. What is a healthy relationship between cars and urban areas? I describe this relationship and possible options, yes you can choose for this relationship ;-)

https://medium.com/@ericterlien/how-...s-a264c26044c6
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Old January 6th, 2019, 05:23 PM   #287
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Jan 5, 2019
Shutdown risks delays to U.S. drilling, ethanol, wind initiatives
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WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The partial government shutdown is increasing the chances of delays in U.S. energy initiatives from the release of President Donald Trump’s proposed offshore drilling plan to allowing higher levels of ethanol in gasoline during summer months, energy industry groups said on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Interior had been expected to release its highly anticipated 2019 to 2024 offshore oil and gas drilling plan in early January.

The Trump administration has made opening up greater areas to offshore drilling, and holding more frequent lease sales, part of its energy dominance agenda to boost fossil fuel output for both domestic use and exports. Industry interest in several lease sales has been tepid, but the administration has said more interest is expected in the future.

The Interior Department is operating at reduced staffing levels due to the partial shutdown, which has stretched two weeks.

Nicolette Nye, a spokeswoman at the National Ocean Industries Association, said her group is expecting the shutdown will lead to a delay in the proposed plan’s release. But she said members of her group should not be overly affected as long as the final drilling plan, expected to be released this summer, comes on time.

“It’s always a good thing to have something in place that they can use to plan on. But it’s more important to have the final plan on schedule for our companies,” Nye said.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1OY1TX
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Old February 10th, 2019, 02:53 PM   #288
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Long, strange trip: How U.S. ethanol reaches China tariff-free
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NEW YORK/KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 (Reuters) - In June, the High Seas tanker ship loaded up on ethanol in Texas and set off for Asia.

Two months later - after a circuitous journey that included a ship-to-ship transfer and a stop in Malaysia - its cargo arrived in China, according to shipping data analyzed by Reuters and interviews with Malaysian and Chinese port officials.

At the time, the roundabout route puzzled global ethanol traders and ship brokers, who called it a convoluted and costly way to get U.S. fuel to China.

But the journey reflects a broader shift in global ethanol flows since U.S. President Donald Trump ignited a trade war with China last spring.

Although China slapped retaliatory tariffs up to 70 percent on U.S. ethanol shipments, the fuel can still legally enter China tariff-free if it arrives blended with at least 40 percent Asian-produced fuel, according to trade rules established between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the regional economic and political body.

In a striking example of how global commodity markets respond to government policies blocking free trade, some 88,000 tonnes of U.S. ethanol landed on Malaysian shores through November of last year - all since June, shortly after China hiked its tax on U.S. shipments. The surge follows years of negligible imports of U.S. ethanol to Malaysia.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-...-idUSL1N202016
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Old March 29th, 2019, 06:59 PM   #289
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March 22, 2019
Floods shut nearly a sixth of U.S. ethanol production
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MEAD, Neb./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Massive flooding in the U.S. Midwest has knocked out roughly 13 percent of the country’s ethanol production capacity, as plants in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota have been forced to shut down or scale back production following the devastation.

Production facilities owned by large companies like Archer Daniels Midland Co and Green Plains Inc were still operating despite days of snowstorms followed by rains that sent record floods into the Farm Belt.

However, with rail lines are washed out, and corn in storage flooded, production is dropping off, sending prices spiking in markets that buy the corn-based fuel.

The U.S. has some 200 ethanol plants capable of producing 1.06 million barrels per day, and about 100,000 to 140,000 bpd of capacity has been taken off line due to the floods, according to three traders who track operations.

Crop damage exceeds $400 million in Nebraska alone, according to Nebraska officials.

The disruption comes as the ethanol industry is in the midst of a historic downswing due to the ongoing trade conflict with China and sluggish domestic demand growth that has led to high inventories and weak margins.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1R30EG
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Old April 7th, 2019, 06:05 PM   #290
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April 2, 2019
EPA waits on DOE input to process small refinery waivers for 2018 from U.S. biofuel law
Excerpt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is waiting to receive input from the Department of Energy to process 2018 applications exempting small refineries from U.S. biofuel laws, the agency’s administrator Andrew Wheeler said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a hearing at the House Appropriations Committee, Wheeler said he expected to receive the DOE input over the next couple of days and would process the applications “on a timely basis.”

“As far as the 2018 applications we have not received the official applications from DOE yet,” Wheeler said at the hearing about EPA’s budget. “We’re expecting those any day now, probably the next couple of days.”

Currently, there are 39 outstanding petitions for exemptions for 2018, EPA data shows.

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal program that requires that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum amount of renewables biofuels like ethanol each year, or that refiners buy blending credits from those that conform with the program.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1RE1Q0
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Old May 19th, 2019, 04:46 AM   #291
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In case over biofuel law waivers, U.S. court denies temporary injunction
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NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. biofuels trade group on Friday lost a bid for a temporary injunction on the granting of exemptions to refineries from laws that require them to blend biofuels into gasoline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Friday denied the Advanced Biofuel Association's request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency be ordered to stop issuing hardship exemptions to small refineries.

The group had asked for the injunction while its ongoing challenge of the EPA's expansion of the waiver program was decided.

In a one-page order the court said the trade group "has not satisfied the stringent requirements for an injunction."

Michael McAdams, who heads the trade group, called the ruling "disappointing."

The waivers can exempt refineries with production capacity of 75,000 barrels per day or less from the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates U.S. refiners blend biofuels into the fuel pool or buy compliance credits from those who do.

Under President Donald Trump, EPA has vastly expanded the biofuel waiver program to save the oil industry money. This has angered Midwest farmers who say the policy destroys demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels at a time they are already struggling, putting the administration in the center of a fight between two key constituencies.
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Old May 26th, 2019, 04:48 AM   #292
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Exclusive: EPA to unveil less ambitious U.S. biofuel credit reform - sources
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24 May 2019

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil a narrowed-down version of its proposed biofuel credit market reform this month after regulators concluded many of the agency’s initial ideas required more time to study, according to four people briefed on the matter.

President Donald Trump had instructed the EPA to develop the plan to reform the multi-billion-dollar market as a way to help the oil refining industry, which had long complained that speculation was driving up costs for the credits they must acquire to comply with the nation's biofuel law.

Trump had asked that the EPA's reform be finalized prior to June 1 to coincide with the agency’s move to expand sales of gasoline blended with higher levels of corn-based ethanol, or E15, a measure meant to help farmers by expanding the market for corn.

But the sources, who asked not to be named, said there was not enough time to finalize most of the elements in the EPA's initial draft plan, which had been drawn up in March, in time for this month's launch of the E15 rule.

It is unclear whether a narrowed-down version of the market reform plan will limit the intended benefits to refiners.

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard requires refineries to blend biofuels into their gasoline and diesel each year, or purchase credits, called RINs, from those who do. The policy has helped farmers by creating a 15 billion gallon-a-year market for corn-based ethanol, but refiners have increasingly complained that compliance costs them a fortune – particularly when RIN prices are high and volatile.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1ST2ML
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 06:52 AM   #293
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Trump lifts curbs on E15 gasoline to help farmers, angering Big Oil
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WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Friday lifted restrictions on the sale of higher ethanol blends of gasoline, keeping a campaign promise to farmers suffering from the trade war with China but drawing a legal threat from the oil industry.

The announcement will allow gasoline stations to sell blends containing up to 15 percent corn-based ethanol, called E15, year-round, ending a summertime ban that President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency imposed in 2011 to reduce smog pollution.

“As President Trump promised, EPA is approving the year-round sale of E15 in time for summer driving season,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release.

In a nod to the oil industry, the agency also issued new rules to improve transparency in the market for biofuels credits that refiners must acquire under the nation’s biofuel law, but the steps stopped short of what many refiners were seeking.

The widely anticipated action on E15 is a win for the U.S. farm lobby, which has argued the restrictions on E15 hurt growers by limiting demand for corn-based fuel, without providing tangible air quality benefits. Recent research has found little difference in smog risk between E15 and E10, a 10 percent ethanol blend that is already available year-round.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1T11BN
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Old June 29th, 2019, 06:44 PM   #294
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Republican senators urge EPA to hold firm on refinery biofuel waivers
June 27, 2019
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nine Republican U.S. senators on Wednesday urged the Trump administration’s environmental regulator to disregard a request by Democratic senators to stop issuing waivers to oil refiners on requirements to blend biofuels into motor fuels.

The Republican senators including Jim Inhofe, Ted Cruz, and Pat Toomey, said ditching the waivers would put thousands of refinery workers at risk and boost gasoline and diesel prices.

“The waivers simply diminish the burden of this terrible mandate on the refineries least able to afford it, and therefore allow them to continue doing business,” Toomey said in a release. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and President Donald Trump “should continue working to bolster our flourishing energy sector, not undermine it,” Toomey said.

Refiner waivers are outlined in the U.S. biofuels law, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which was designed to help American farmers by requiring oil refiners to blend certain volumes of biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol, into their fuel each year or purchase credits from those that do.

Small refineries with a production capacity of 75,000 barrels per day or less can secure waivers if they prove that compliance would cause them financial harm.

But farmers and lawmakers that support them say the waivers are being used too frequently. Under Trump, the EPA has vastly expanded the number of waivers granted to refineries, angering farmers who say the policy destroys demand for ethanol and other biofuels at a time they are already struggling.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1TR2ZE
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Old August 18th, 2019, 09:02 AM   #295
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Aug 16, 2019
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Trump intervention triggered EPA's surprise biofuel waiver decision: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump last week ended a nearly two-month-long review of the nation’s biofuels program, three sources familiar with the matter said, with the White House siding in favor of oil refiners over corn growers.

Trump gave Andrew Wheeler, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the green light for the regulator to announce it had granted 31 small refinery exemptions out of the 40 applications, saying he wanted the issue off his desk, the sources said.

Trump’s call triggered a flurry of action within the EPA, leading up to a surprise Friday afternoon announcement, after weeks of negotiations between U.S. government agencies failed to make progress in addressing farmers’ concerns.

“The president has heard from all sides and in the end he has had enough of it. He called Wheeler and gave him the green light,” a source familiar with knowledge of the matter said.

The White House has sought to make changes to the nation’s biofuels laws since the beginning of Trump’s administration in early 2017, but found themselves caught between the powerful oil and corn lobbies, both of whom have allies in Washington in Trump’s Republican Party.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1V610F
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Old October 7th, 2019, 05:01 AM   #296
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Trump administration promises biofuel boost to farmers, angering Big Oil
Oct 4, 2019
Excerpt

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Friday unveiled a plan to boost U.S. biofuels consumption starting next year to help struggling farmers, a move that cheered the agriculture industry but triggered a backlash from Big Oil.

The plan would require an unspecified increase in the amount of ethanol that oil refiners must add to their fuel in 2020, and would also aim to remove further barriers to the sale of higher ethanol blends of gasoline like E15, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement.

“President Trump’s leadership has led to an agreement that continues to promote domestic ethanol and biodiesel production, supporting our nation’s farmers and providing greater energy security,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said.

The deal is widely seen as an attempt by President Donald Trump to mend fences with the powerful corn lobby, which was outraged by the EPA's decision in August to exempt 31 oil refineries here from their obligations under the RFS. This freed the refineries from the requirement to blend biofuels or buy credits from those who do.

Biofuel companies, farmers and Midwest lawmakers complained that the waivers undercut demand for corn, which is already slumping due to the U.S. trade war with China. Oil refiners say the waivers protect blue-collar jobs and have no real impact on ethanol use.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1WJ19P
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Old October 10th, 2019, 08:30 PM   #297
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Trump says ethanol deal will be around 16 billion gallons
Oct 8, 2019
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration’s proposal to boost the biofuels market next year would bring the amount of corn-based ethanol mixed into the nation’s fuel to about 16 billion gallons (60.6 billion liters).

“We’ve come to an agreement and its going to be, I guess, about, getting close to 16 billion ... that’s a lot of gallons. So they should like me out in Iowa,” he told a news conference.

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program currently requires refiners to blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol per year, but the corn lobby has said the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of waivers means the actual volumes blended are lower than that.

Trump's EPA unveiled the plan here last week to boost U.S. biofuels consumption to help struggling farmers, but did not provide an exact figure. The plan cheered the agriculture industry but triggered a backlash from Big Oil, which views biofuels as competition.

The deal is widely seen as an attempt by Trump, who faces a re-election fight next year, to mend fences with the powerful corn lobby, which was outraged by the EPA’s decision in August to exempt 31 oil refineries from their obligations under the RFS.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1WM298
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