Jul 5, 2017

EPA issues ethanol-friendly fuel proposal

Nati Harnik / AP

The EPA issued a new proposal Wednesday for biofuel quotas, including...

  • Dropping targets for alternative biofuel (cellulosic and advanced biofuels) to 19.24 billion gallons in 2018 from 19.28 billion this year, per The Hill.
  • Requiring U.S. refiners to use 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2018 — that's the same as the 2017 requirement, per Bloomberg.

Breaking that down: The oil camp wanted smaller quotas, so Midwest corn farmers and biofuel producers are feeling pretty good right now, although they had hoped for higher quotas for alternative biofuels. Plus, this fulfills Trump's campaign promises to support ethanol, which he said was "under siege" just a few weeks ago.

Why it matters: These quotas affect industry dynamics and have implications for the environment. The announcement also reflects Iowa's outsized influence, as ethanol is always a major issue in the presidential caucus. The EPA will be taking public comment on the issue before its November deadline.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.