Ernst, Grassley Warn Trump He’s Losing Iowa Support On Waivers

In the wake of 31 Renewable Fuel Standard waivers being granted to refineries last week, Republican senators from Iowa are warning President Donald Trump about the political fallout he’s causing, noting that “our farmers are angry.” The waivers allow oil refineries to avoid blending ethanol into their final product, benefiting oil companies’ bottom lines at the expense of corn farmers. “Mr. President, you should have done more,” Sen. Joni Ernst said on Saturday. “So, what I’m hearing from our farmers is extreme disappointment, and I’m disappointed, because there is a promise that needs to to be kept for our farmers.” […]

Iowa Farmers To Trump: “You’re Stabbing Us In The Back”

Iowa farmers are furious over a recent major decision from Donald Trump’s EPA that is undercutting corn growers in favor of oil companies. Robb Ewoldt, a farmer from Northeast Iowa, expressed his frustrations to Starting Line in a conversation this week. “We got to get somebody in the White House to hear, ‘you know, we were with you, we voted for you, we understand the trade-war issue, but we don’t understand why you’re stabbing us in the back with this EPA and these exemptions,’” Ewoldt said. “We’re tired of just falling in line, we need to voice our opinions a […]

Trump’s EPA Pulls Another Bait-And-Switch On Farmers

In a whirlwind week for trade and agricultural policy, the EPA’s Andrew Wheeler defended their approach to Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in a closed-door meeting with farm state senators. In other parts of a busy day, President Trump approved $16 billion in trade aid for 2019, but 2018 trade-aid analysis shows that a majority of the payments went to the biggest, most successful farms. SRE Update: EPA to Continue Down Current Path According to four sources, Wheeler said in the private meeting that the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand. This comes just a day after a […]

Iowa Dems Knock Trump EPA’s “Bait-And-Switch” On Iowa Farmers

Focus on Rural America hosted a press conference Thursday to call out President Donald Trump for the promises he made to farmers and the biofuel industry during his first campaign, but has failed to live up to. “We have a bait-and-switch. They said we’re gonna give you year-round E15 sales, but we’re gonna grant enough waivers to the oil industry that it does not result in any additional market share,” Patty Judge said. Focus on Rural America chair and former Iowa Lt. Governor Patty Judge spoke at the press conference, along with former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, IDP […]

Trump Rethinks Refinery Waivers After Pushback From Farmers, Democrats

Several reports late this week revealed that Donald Trump has ordered EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to reconsider their approach to small refinery ethanol waivers. President Trump was in Iowa earlier this month to celebrate the year-round sales of E15 and to fundraise for his reelection campaign, but received blowback from farmers about the high number of small refinery waivers being granted. His administration has continually allowed oil companies, even ones operating sizable refineries, to not mix ethanol into their fuel production, thus limiting demand for ethanol. While many corn farmers were excited about the […]

Explainer: How Trump’s Small Refinery Waivers Are Undercutting Farmers

Donald Trump will be in Iowa today, touring an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, to celebrate the Environmental Protection Agency’s lift of a seasonal ban on E15, allowing for year-round sale of the gasoline mixture containing 15% ethanol. The ethanol tour was recently announced with Trump set to come to the state for a Republican Party fundraising event. The move to enforce year-round production and consumption of certain ethanol blends comes at a convenient time for Trump, but hasn’t gone without criticism. Farming advocates and Democratic presidential candidates call it an empty gesture, considering what else the White House is […]

Warren Says Trump Is Hurting Farmers On Trade, Production During Ethanol Plant Tour

Elizabeth Warren took a tour of an ethanol production facility today in Dyersville, Iowa. It was the latest in a series of presidential candidate visits to biofuel facilities in the caucus state, and she used the occasion to point out where she felt Donald Trump’s administration was falling short in delivering for Iowa farmers. Led around the sprawling facility by local leaders at the plant, Warren viewed a massive pile of corn feed that had its starch removed in the facility’s process. Warren quipped that “it smells a little like breakfast cereal” before grabbing a handful of it for herself. […]