Biofuel Advocates Challenge – October 24, 2019

Biofuel advocates challenge EPA on RFS waivers


The EPA justified its exemption of 31 refineries from the Renewable Fuel Standard in a two-page memorandum that it did not reveal for weeks, said a coalition of four biofuel groups and two farm groups in a challenge filed in a U.S. appeals court. The petition was filed at the same time biofuel backers are accusing the EPA of a “bait and switch” on promises to increase ethanol consumption.


Will high risks on industrial hemp bring high rewards?


Industrial hemp faces more regulatory and legal hurdles than many other newly hatched industries, says a report from agricultural lender CoBank. While growth in the industry is driven by cannabidiol (CBD), widely available in foods and as a supplement, two other markets hold potential: the fiber and the grain and seed sectors.


Group faces climate displacement (Guardian): For the Gullah Geechee nation, whose members live along the Atlantic Coast from Jacksonville, Florida, to Jacksonville, North Carolina, climate change and the fierce storms that come with it pose an existential threat.


No more street food in Flushing (Eater): A street vendor ban in Flushing, Queens, has resulted in a decline in the New York City neighborhood’s famously diverse food options and eliminated a pathway to economic stability for new immigrants.


Longer signup for grassland program (USDA): Producers have two additional weeks, until Nov. 8, to enroll in the newly created Grassland Conservation Initiative, which pays $18 an acre for five years on “base” acres that were held out of crop production for the past decade and then returned to grassland.


Brazil’s agro women (Washington Post): The face of Brazilian agriculture is changing: 31 percent of farms are now managed by women, triple the portion seen in 2013, and the female farmers have their own annual conference to discuss seeds, technology, and workplace harassment.


Killing protected wolves (Los Angeles Times): While Washington State has encouraged the return of the endangered gray wolf, wildlife officials, to the dismay of environmentalists, also order the extermination of wolves, or entire packs, believed to attack livestock.


China would waive soybean tariffs (Reuters): A Chinese state planning agency offered to waive trade war tariffs so that oilseed processing plants in the country could import up to 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans, according to two unnamed sources.


Decision threatens fish (New York Times): The Interior and Commerce departments issued a “biological opinion” that reverses scientific findings made a decade ago and says that fish in California rivers would not be harmed by a proposal to divert water from the San Francisco Bay delta to irrigate farmland in the Central Valley.

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