Biden On Trump In Iowa: “Easy To Be A Bully” When Others Getting Hit

Around 75 people showed up at Sunset Ridge Farm this afternoon to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak earlier today. Biden framed the 2020 race as “the most important election any of you have ever voted in, regardless of how old, or young, you are.” Biden hit many of his frequent talking points, including the divisiveness of Donald Trump and his rhetoric, increasing racial tension under Trump’s leadership, the energized resurgence of white supremacy, the cost and importance of education, teacher pay and gun violence. “We can overcome four years of Donald Trump, it will be difficult, but if we […]

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 […]

What Steve Bullock Gets About The Rural Vote

Late to the race? Low name recognition? Steve Bullock doesn’t care if you’re writing him off; he’s running to fight for the written-off. Bullock’s campaign is in full swing as he prepares for the next round of Democratic primary debates, one that he should be a part of and which will be his first crack at the national stage. To establish a presence in Iowa, Bullock was on his sixth trip since announcing to the lead-off state, taking a tour of POET, an ethanol production facility in Gowrie, and stopping at a grain co-op in Rippey, Iowa on Tuesday. He […]

Poll Shows Rural Voters Back More Centrist Approach, Biofuel Support

Rural Democrats are looking to support a presidential candidate who will focus on their communities and invigorate the renewable fuel industries, a poll from David Binder Research showed earlier this week. Of the 600 people surveyed in the poll, 53% report living in rural areas and small towns, and 76% self-identified as middle-class or lower in socioeconomic standing. The recent poll, which shows Elizabeth Warren leading amongst the sample, reflected the older, whiter electorate, even among Iowa Democrats: 95% of respondents identified as white and 85% of them being over the age of 35. Amongst the group, 62% said they […]

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. […]