Badminton’s ruling body on Tuesday defended postponing the season’s finale until January — a decision that has sparked an outcry from players — saying it was the “best possible solution” given the coronavirus pandemic.The virus has thrown the badminton calendar into chaos, with officials forced to repeatedly postpone competitions. In the latest change, officials announced last week the three tournaments that make up the Asian leg of the world tour will take place in the Thai capital Bangkok in January. The final tournaments of the 2020 season were originally scheduled for November.Badminton World Federation (BWF) president Poul-Erik Hoyer insisted Tuesday it was the best outcome in a difficult year. “Given the challenges we faced, this was the best possible solution under the circumstances,” he told a press conference.”I am confident that with our safety protocols in place, the three events will kickstart badminton’s successful return in 2021.” Several Danish players — including leading men’s doubles players Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Kim Astrup — were reported to have reacted angrily to the news of the postponement.Officials have acknowledged that changing the dates could affect world rankings and the 2021 season’s calendar. Still, Badminton Association of Thailand president Patama Leeswadtrakul said strict measures would be in place to ensure the safety of players and officials at the Bangkok tournaments.They included putting a “bubble” in place — like those implemented for the restart of other sports — and requiring players to take virus tests before flying to Bangkok and on arrival.Earlier this month the BWF postponed the showpiece Thomas and Uber Cup after a string of countries withdrew.Topics :
NewsRegional OECS chairman pushes single market ideals by: – January 26, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Tweet The free movement of OECS nationals is a key component of the OECS Economic Union, which was operationalised in January 2011.ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday January 26, 2012 – New chairman of the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) authority, St Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, has called on his peers to recommit to free movement through the sub-region. “In respect of economic development, the creation of a free unified internal market cannot be realised unless the appropriate conditions are put in place that would allow the productive potential and capacity of the people of this region to flourish,” said Dr Anthony as he addressed the opening of the 54th meeting of the OECS authority on January 23 in St Lucia.He called on OECS heads of government to urgently push strategic and legislative requirements to further advance the free movement of OECS nationals noting that any genuine development of the OECS must be premised on the involvement of the OECS citizenry.The free movement of OECS nationals is a key component of the OECS Economic Union, which was operationalised in January 2011.Anthony noted that: “If OECS heads are to deliver on the long term development objectives of the region, realising acceptable rates of economic growth, creating new employment opportunities and ensuring social equity and improve standard of living- the free movement of persons and labour and the rights contingent to these must be secured within the economic union area.Dr Anthony also challenged other OECS member states who have not yet allowed the free movement of nationals in their respective countries to put in place the required legislation and administrative arrangements to give effect to the right of free movement in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and to do so as a matter of urgent priority.He also encouraged those member states which have not yet brought the revised treaty into domestic law to do so expeditiously in order of the OECS economic union to be functioning in way that truly resonates with the people of our region.He noted that without the enactment of the enabling legislation by all protocol member states, the operationilisation of the economic union simply could not proceedCaribbean 360 News Share Share 6 Views no discussions
DES MOINES — Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel industry reacted in disbelief and anger Tuesday after the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft policy on future biofuels production targets.The president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association was first to react, saying he was outraged the EPA failed to implement the details of a plan President Trump announced 11 days ago. Trump’s outline suggested oil refineries would be forced to blend more ethanol in gasoline next year, to make up for the ethanol blending waivers granted this year. The Iowa Corn Growers’ leader said the EPA’s document fell “well short” of that mark.The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association blasted the EPA for reneging on Trump’s biofuels deal. The Iowa Biodiesel Board said the EPA’s plan did not restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuels Standard, as Trump had promised.The EPA, in issuing its announcement, included comments from Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst as well as Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg — all Republicans — all of whom the EPA quoted praising the proposal.Reynolds, in a separate written statement late this afternoon released by her own office, said she understands the industry’s frustration and distrust — and Reynolds suggested farmers need to make their voices heard during the 30 day period for public comment on the EPA’s plan.A coalition of biofuels groups will hold a news conference Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. to respond to the EPA’s announcement. Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, was the first member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to speak individually on today’s news. He called the EPA’s proposed policy “outrageous” because it provides no guarantee the ethanol and biodiesel production mandates will ever be restored. Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat form Des Moines, called it a broken promise from the president that’s “insulting, deeply disappointing, but unfortunately, not surprising.” Congresswoman Abby Finkenaur, a Democrat from Dubuque, said once again Iowa farmers are being let down by a president who “plays favorites with big oil.”Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign was the first in the Democratic presidential field to weigh in, issuing a statement on what it referred to as “the Trump Administration’s continued sabotage of Iowa’s renewable fuels industry.” Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar accused Trump of being more interested in his “big oil buddies” than in the plight of farmers. She will visit the shuttered biodiesel plant in Crawfordsville on Friday. Read the series of news releases related to this story below.EPA Continues to Undermine the Renewable Fuel StandardStatement from ICGA President Jim GreifToday, we are outraged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not implement the details that were presented and outlined by the President only eleven days ago. Any proposal that does not account for actual waived gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) fails to restore the integrity of the law. Last week President Trump promised to uphold the Congressional intent of the RFS by addressing the demand destruction brought on by expanded use of small refinery exemptions and prospectively account for those exemptions using a three-year rolling average of actual waived gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standard. Today’s announcement falls well short of that mark, only accounting for the Department of Energy recommendations that the EPA itself ignored.The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) will continue to fight back on demand destruction with our biofuels champions and President Trump to ensure the final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) reflect the commitments made by the President to restore the integrity of the RFS to the benefit of farmers and consumers everywhere.EPA Reneges on Trump’s Biofuels DealThe supplemental rule proposed by EPA fails to ensure RFS integrityJOHNSTON, IOWA – Today, following up on the recently announced Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ‘deal,’ EPA released the draft rule intended to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to ensure RFS blend levels are met by reallocating gallons waived by small refinery exemptions (SREs) back into the RFS. While President Donald Trump’s biofuels deal would have ensured that a 15-billion-gallon RFS truly meant 15 billion gallons blended, today’s proposal fails to live up to President Trump’s promise to biofuels producers.Prior to supporting President Trump’s October 4th deal, biofuels producers and farmers were briefed by the White House and EPA that EPA would account for SREs using a three-year rolling average of actual refinery exemptions granted. Today’s draft rule proposes using a three-year rolling average of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommendations for SREs, which EPA has routinely ignored and is under no legal obligation to follow.In response to this proposal, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:“IRFA members continue to stand by President Trump’s strong biofuels deal announced on Oct. 4, which was worked out with our elected champions and provided the necessary certainty that 15 billion gallons would mean 15 billion gallons, even after accounting for SREs. Unfortunately, only 11 days after President Trump’s landmark announcement, the EPA proposal reneges on the core principal of the deal.“Instead of standing by President Trump’s transparent and accountable deal, EPA is proposing to use heretofore secret DOE recommendations that EPA doesn’t have to follow. That means there is no guarantee that RFS exemptions will be accounted for in the RFS.“Instead, the proposal today essentially asks Iowa farmers and biofuels producers to trust that EPA will do the right thing on SREs in 2021 when they have spent the last two years weaponizing SREs to unfairly undermine the RFS. It is unreasonable and counterproductive to expect Iowans to put their faith in EPA to fix the SRE problem when they were the ones who created the crisis in the first place.“As this proposal goes against the core of President Trump’s deal that we continue to support, we will work with our elected champions and the President to get the deal he proposed, and we all celebrated, back on track. There must be certainty that 15 billion gallons will mean 15 billion gallons to restore integrity to the RFS.”The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million gallons annually.Iowa biodiesel producers concerned by EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard planSmall Refinery Exemption accounting may not restore RFS integrity as promised by PresidentANKENY, Iowa – The Iowa Biodiesel Board today expressed apprehension over the Trump Administration’s new plans for fulfilling federal renewable fuel requirements, saying it appears to run contrary to a previously agreed-upon deal with President Trump. The group will join other renewable fuel and farm advocates in examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed supplemental rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard, released today.Grant Kimberley, Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director, issued the following statement:“On behalf of Iowa’s biodiesel producers, we are deeply concerned by EPA’s new proposal to address renewable fuel gallons lost through refinery exemptions to the RFS. The solution President Trump previously promised us would have estimated future exempted RFS volumes based on the average of actual volumes exempted over the past three years. That is the remedy we need to steady the renewable fuels market, help plants re-open their doors, and infuse rural economies still in crisis.“This new plan from EPA appears to be a dramatic departure from the agreement struck with the President, and we expect markets to react accordingly. This is likely to inflict further damage on the already struggling biodiesel industry and farm economy. We will join our Iowa political champions, the National Biodiesel Board and other groups in scrutinizing this new proposal, and in ensuring the final rule fulfills the deal President Trump agreed to earlier this very month.”Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from diverse agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.EPA Releases Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes(Lenexa, Kan., October 15, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.Today’s notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance.Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation’s fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.EPA will hold a public hearing on Oct. 30, 2019 followed by a 30-day comment period from the date of the hearing to receive public input on these issues. The agency will finalize this action later this year.Today’s action fulfills the agreement reached on Oct. 4, with the White House, EPA, and USDA. Below is the overwhelmingly positive response we received following that announcement:CabinetEPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler: “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. Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to expand domestic energy production and improve the RFS program that will result in sustained biofuel production to help American farmers.”USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue: “President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is a champion for our nation’s farmers and rural America. The President recognizes that American farmers are the most productive in the world, and he has found a way to pursue policy that promotes economic growth and supports our producers. Building on the success of the year-round E15 rule, this forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant.”SenateSenator Joni Ernst (IA): “This is great news for Iowa and rural America. President Trump is following through on his commitment to our nation’s hardworking farmers and biofuels producers. The RFS is essential to the livelihoods of folks across our state, which is why I’ve been fighting tirelessly on behalf of Iowa’s farmers and producers every step of the way and making Iowans’ voices heard throughout this process. Our message was clear: uphold the RFS—15 billion means 15 billion. The president heard that message and has acted on it. The steps outlined today by the administration will help increase demand for our biofuels, provide certainty for farmers and producers for years to come, and ensure that EPA is implementing the RFS as it was written.”Senator Chuck Grassley (IA): “President Trump listened to the concerns of farmers and biofuels producers and delivered on their behalf… The solution outlined by President Trump, Administrator Wheeler and Secretary Perdue is exactly how the RFS is meant to function according to the law as written by Congress… Maintaining the integrity of the RFS, repealing WOTUS and allowing year-round sales of E15 will all help American agriculture and the rural economy. These are promises made and promises kept by President Trump. President Trump has made clear that he is an ally of corn and soybean farmers as well as ethanol and biodiesel producers. He is fighting for the farmer. This announcement is great news for Iowa, the Midwest and the entire country.”Senator Deb Fischer (NE): “In my discussions with the president, I fought hard for a fair deal for Nebraska’s farmers and ethanol producer. I thank the president for following through on his commitment to rural America. Today’s announcement means more certainty for families, businesses, and communities across the Good Life.”Senator Mike Braun (IN): “At my recent townhall meeting in Franklin, Indiana, this issue was top of mind for Hoosier farmers and producers. I worked closely with USDA and the Trump Administration to make sure those concerns were realized here in Washington. This is why I am proud to announce that President Trump kept his promise to Hoosier farmers to ensure the RFS is implanted in a manner consistent with Congressional intent. This agreement to expand domestic energy production is a win for Hoosier farmers, and it comes on the heels of a year-round E-15 decision. Hoosiers will not forget that President Trump is in their corner.”GovernorsGovernor Pete Ricketts (NE): “Ensuring RVOs do not go below 15 billion gallons and expanding access to E15 will bolster the RFS and ethanol production at a critical time for our nation’s rural economy, which has been suffering from low commodity prices. Thank you to President Trump for taking these important steps for ethanol and our great farm families!”Governor Kim Reynolds (IA): “A robust renewable fuel standard is critical to a healthy ag economy in Iowa and across the nation. We are grateful to President Trump for honoring the federal statute to blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually, and allowing existing E10 pumps to deliver E15 fuel, helping drive domestic demand for biofuels. By protecting the RFS, President Trump demonstrated his commitment to rural America and the American farmer.“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the strong, united front from the renewable fuels industry as well as strong leadership from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. The President clearly heard us when we said 15 billion gallons means 15 billion gallons, and this deal proves it.“We will never stop fighting for the renewable fuels industry because of its central role in our economy and we appreciate President Trump’s willingness to listen and work with this industry. It is clear, this President remains committed to America’s farmers.”Governor Doug Burgum (ND): “This agreement strikes a balance for our farmers, ethanol producers and refiners, protecting demand for renewable fuels while still allowing for exemptions for small refineries. We appreciate the administration hearing the concerns of our corn and soybean growers, ethanol producers and other stakeholders and coming up with an agreement that promotes ethanol and biodiesel production, provides market certainty and gives a much-needed boost to our farmers, building on the year-round E15 sales that we pushed for and the president approved earlier this year.”Governor Kristi Noem (SD): “This is a big win for producers. With expanded ethanol capabilities, producers will see an increased market for their product and improved long-term stability. This move is absolutely critical for South Dakota farmers and ranchers as recent years have seen lower commodity prices and unstable market conditions. Thank you, President Trump, for supporting agriculture.”CongressCongressman Roger Marshall (KS-01): “President Trump, Secretary Perdue, and Administrator Wheeler have delivered on their promise to support the renewable fuels industry, make improvements to the RFS program to utilize the production of America’s farmers, and continue America’s energy independence,” U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. said. “The renewable fuel industry is not only good for producers and consumers, but also good for our environment. I applaud the work of the USDA and EPA and look forward to working with the Administration to continue making productive changes to the ethanol and biofuels industry.”Congressman James Comer (KY-01): “President Trump’s announcement could not have come at a more critical time for farmers and ethanol producers. With the state of the farm economy, any viable market for grain producers is key. I’m proud to support this welcomed news from the Administration, and I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump, Secretary Perdue, Administrator Wheeler, and my colleagues in Congress to see this agreement put into action.” -Congressman James Comer, KY-1Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06): “Biofuels are a major market for the farmers in my district in North Missouri and today’s announcement is welcome news in what has been a challenging year due to weather,” said Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06). “The Renewable Fuels Standard is critical to the farm economy and the President’s proposal will go a long way towards ensuring that it remains strong. I’m thankful that President Trump has listened to our farmers and I’m grateful for his commitment to our rural economy.”Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13): “I want to thank the President for working with me to bring parity to farmers in my district, and the ethanol industry as a whole, by addressing the issue of small refinery exemptions. I recently introduced the bipartisan Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act to address this issue and reobligate gallons lost to these exemptions, and I look forward to seeing the details of this plan that will put us on the right path forward.”Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12): “This announcement comes at a time when Illinois ethanol producers needed a big win. By maintaining the 15-billion-gallon baseline and increasing access to E15, President Trump has shown he is working for American agriculture. Farmers across Illinois’ 12th District will be pleased with this announcement and the security it provides for the Renewable Fuel Standard.”Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18): “In Illinois, biofuels drive demand for our corn and soybean farmers, and the announcement by President Trump’s Administration today is a victory for Midwest agriculture and biofuel producers,” stated Rep. LaHood. “This deal ensures that lost gallons from small refinery waivers are accurately accounted and remove barriers to higher biofuel blends. I continually urged this Administration to uphold the original intent of the RFS, and I applaud President Trump and his team for hearing the concerns of Midwest producers and keeping to their promise. I’ll continue to fight for Illinois producers and work with this Administration to bolster our agriculture economy.”Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02): “Thank you President Trump for working with our farmers and ethanol producers to bring certainty and security to the RFS program. I have long been an advocate for low-carbon biofuels and am hopeful that the finalized rules will unleash ethanol potential, provide transparency for Nebraska farmers and producers, and benefit consumers at the pump across the country.”Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06): “I am grateful to the Administration for hearing the concerns of the agriculture community and delivering much-needed results. Biofuels are an integral piece of Minnesota’s economy, and the announcement today will help promote cleaner fuel, energy independence, and greater demand for Minnesota corn and soybeans. This is a clear example that the Trump Administration supports agriculture and rural America, and I applaud their efforts to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard.”Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02): “For far too long, the integrity of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has been severely harmed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) misuse of small refinery exemptions (SREs),” said Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02). So far, nine producers have closed their doors or reduced operations, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs for rural communities across the country. With today’s announcement from the EPA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), America’s farmers will appreciate President Trump listening to their concerns and his commitment to scaling back regulations and runaway government overreach.As a leader on renewable fuels issues and a cosponsor of the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act, I am thankful for the commitment that the administration has shown to our rural communities and the renewable fuels industry and applaud their decision. This is just another positive step in moving us closer to restoring the integrity and initial intentions of the RFS.”Congressman Dusty Johnson (SD-AL): “Today’s announcement is a win for South Dakota farmers, ethanol producers and anyone that cares about a strong rural economy and job growth. I’m proud of the coalition of farm-state members that made it clear that we must maintain the integrity of the RFS as Congress intended.”By maintaining the integrity of the RFS and preventing the abuse of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs), as well as forward-looking proposals that cut red tape and build biofuel infrastructure, the Administration showed they are committed to rural America.”State OfficialsLt. Governor Adam Gregg (IA): “Today’s announcement by EPA is welcome news for Iowa farmers and the renewable fuels industry. A strong RFS drives rural prosperity. Thank you to Governor Reynolds, Senator Ernst, and Senator Grassley for your advocacy!”Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig: “This is welcome news for Iowa’s farmers and the renewable fuels industry. President Trump listened to our producers’ concerns and took action to address them. This is what happens when farmers, biofuels producers and government leaders work together to make our voices heard. We are grateful to President Trump for directing EPA to uphold the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and we look forward to working with EPA and USDA to implement today’s announcement. As the number one producer of ethanol and biodiesel in the country, Iowa is proud to lead the nation in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We will continue to work to restore and build demand for these critical markets for Iowa agriculture.”StakeholdersGrowth Energy: “It’s been a long process, but when the chips were down, President Trump delivered for farm families and biofuel producers. This is a victory for rural America, and we are grateful to our champions in Congress, USDA Secretary Perdue, and governors across the heartland who fought to put homegrown energy back on the market. We also thank President Trump for hearing the voices of farmers and biofuel producers and his commitment to finding a solution that will make an immediate difference for rural families.“By accurately accounting for lost gallons from this point forward based on a 3-year average of all exempted gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel targets, and breaking down regulatory and infrastructure barriers to higher biofuel blends, we will be able to realize the true potential of the opportunities President Trump opened by approving year-round sales of E15. Our industry and farm suppliers are eager to put this plan in place and deliver more lower-cost, lower-carbon biofuels to American consumers. We look forward to finalizing this rule to help America’s farmers.“To restore growth and revitalize farm income, it’s vital that the EPA stay true to the president’s promise, and we will be working closely with leaders in Washington to ensure that happens. What matters now is how quickly we can restore demand for U.S. farmers and put biofuel gallons back to work for America’s economy.”Dan Nerud, President of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association: “We’ve been waiting for a reallocation of waived gallons for a long time. To say we were upset with the refinery waivers is an understatement, so today’s announcement is welcome news. We’re very happy with today’s announcement.”David Bruntz, Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board: “I’m extremely excited with today’s announcement. Today’s news just goes to show what our growers can achieve when our voices are unified. Thanks to all of Nebraska and our nation’s corn farmers who rallied together to ensure we have vibrant corn and ethanol industries for years to come.”Please see below a statement from Gov. Reynolds on today’s EPA announcement:“President Trump promised 15 billion gallons of renewable fuel blended per year, and I will work to hold the EPA accountable to ensure that promise is kept. I understand the biofuel industry’s frustration and distrust following the EPA’s announcement today. The next 30 day comment period is crucial to making sure the EPA follows through on the President’s commitment. A robust RFS is critical for rural America, and I will never stop fighting for it.” – Gov. Kim ReynoldsLoebsack Statement on the EPA’s Supplemental SRE RuleWashington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new supplemental proposed rule to account for gallons waived through Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in the nation’s biofuel mandate.“It is outrageous that not even two weeks after the President and the EPA announced a ‘deal’ to offset the excessive number of SREs they granted to big, profitable oil companies, they fall back on their word. This proposed rule provides no assurance that the estimates used to offset the SREs would meet the actual volume of gallons exempted, leaving farmers and biofuel producers with no guarantee that the billions of gallons of biofuels exempted from the mandate would ever be restored, as has long been promised by the Trump Administration and EPA.“The Administration’s abuse of the SRE program has already destroyed billions of gallons of biofuel demand and led to the closure or idling of nearly 30 ethanol and biodiesel plants. This proposed rule is another in a long string of broken promises for our farmers and biofuel producers. I will continue to fight back against proposals that fall short of what was promised, and work to uphold the integrity of the RFS. It is past time our farmers and biofuel producers have the certainty they need to help provide our nation with clean, renewable fuel.”AXNE STATEMENT ON EPA’S BROKEN PROMISE~ Axne calls on Trump to publicly demand the EPA restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard ~WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) released the following statement on today’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement undermining the Administration’s October 4th promise to ‘restore integrity’ to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):“This is insulting, deeply disappointing, but unfortunately, not surprising. Time and time again, this Administration comes to Iowa and pledges their support for farmers, only to go back to Washington to give hand-outs to big oil lobbyists at the expense of hardworking Iowa families and rural communities,” said Rep. Axne.“Let’s be clear: the EPA answers to the President, not the other way around. Enough fancy press conferences and broken promises, Iowa farmers deserve action from this Administration. Today, I’m calling on the President to stand by his word and publicly demand the EPA put forth a new rule that ensures 15 billion gallons means 15 billion,” said Rep. Axne.On October 4th, the Administration announced they would ‘restore integrity’ to the Renewable Fuel Standard by reallocating for all gallons lost due to biofuel waivers. The EPA today announced they would reallocate waived gallons based on recommendations made by the Department of Energy (DOE), which the EPA has consistently ignored. This bait and switch will significantly reduce market demand for ethanol and further risk the livelihood of Iowa farmers and producers.Biden for President Statement on Donald Trump’s Continued Sabotage of the Renewable Fuel StandardDes Moines, Iowa – Today, Biden for President released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s continued sabotage of Iowa’s renewable fuel industry:“The Trump Administration has handed out waivers to oil companies like candy on Halloween – putting the interests of Big Oil and wealthy campaign contributors ahead of Iowa farmers,” said Jake Braun, Iowa State Director, Biden for President. “In the past few months, four Iowa biofuel plants have closed because of these reckless refinery waivers – killing good-paying jobs and throwing even more uncertainty into our agricultural economy. With the EPA’s announcement today, President Trump is demonstrating yet again that farmers can’t take him at his word. The proposed rule makes clear that President Trump was full of hot air when he promised to restore the billions of gallons of lost renewable fuel – once again leaving Iowa’s economy hanging in the balance. Unlike President Trump, Iowa farmers know they can trust Joe Biden to uphold his commitments to corn growers and biofuel producers. That’s because when Joe gives somebody his word — he means it.”Please see a statement from Senator Ernst below:“Just two weeks ago, President Trump followed through on his commitment to Iowa’s farmers and biofuels producers to uphold the RFS and guaranteed we’d see 15 billion gallons. Now we need to see EPA follow through on that commitment. As part of the rulemaking process, EPA will get input from folks on the ground, and I encourage Iowans to submit their comments. Throughout this process, I’ll continue to hold EPA accountable and ensure Iowans’ voices are being heard, loud and clear,” said Senator Joni Ernst.Finkenauer Statement on EPA’s Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels VolumesWASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) announcement:“Iowa’s farmers and producers have been promised over and over that this administration will uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. Just as many times, they’ve been let down by an administration that plays favorites with big oil. As the nation’s corn growers have said, this announcement does not provide confidence that the EPA and Trump administration will follow through on promises to uphold the RFS. I will continue to fight for Iowa’s growers and producers, especially as this administration keeps promising one thing and doing another.”Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who’s visiting the shuttered biodiesel plant in Crawfordsville, Iowa, on Friday, issued the following statement:“As we expected, this new rulemaking is too little, too late for farmers, ethanol producers, and the environment. The White House caused this problem and their attempt at fixing it is only a half-hearted band aid. The President needs to stop issuing these improper small refinery exemptions (SREs) that allow refiners to evade their compliance obligations under the Clean Air Act and undermine the original intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). By making exemptions for his big oil buddies, this Administration has broken its promise to rural America and turned its back on our farming communities. Enough is enough.”
CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council Monday night approved a “memorandum of understanding” with a Johnston developer on the proposed hotel and conference center in the Courtway Park subdivision northeast of the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 122. City Administrator Scott Flory says JSM Investment LLC plans to place an 85-room, Marriott-branded hotel and an approximately 6000 square foot conference and event center on Lot 4 of the subdivision. He says JSM intends to begin construction on the project by June 15th of this year. “They intend to invest a minimum of $13 million of real and personal property into the project. They ultimately will employee 15 full-time equivalent and part-time employees no later than 12 months after the project is opened. They will ultimately enter into a minimum assessment agreement in the amount of not less than $5 million in taxable valuation.” Flory says the city intends to enter into a future economic development agreement that would include construction incentives with an aim for the hotel to open before July 1st of next year. He says the city would provide a $150,000 incentive to JSM if they begin construction no later than June 15, and provide another $150,000 incentive should the project be completed and have a certificate of occupancy issued by June 30th 2021. Flory says the city intends to provide an economic development forgivable loan not to exceed $1.2 million on completion of the project. He says the forgivable loan would be forgiven semi-annually, so it would be 20 semi-annual payments on that over a 10-year period.A 10-year property tax rebate is also proposed not to exceed a total of $1.5 million. Flory says the city would capture the money back through tax increment financing as well as hotel-motel tax revenues. A public hearing on a formal development agreement between the city and JSM will likely take place in six to eight weeks.