Vilsack and Judge say the damage is done, Trump actions still hurt farmers and biofuels

September 20, 2020 |

In Iowa, former Secretary Tom Vilsack and former Iowa Lt. Governor Patty Judge said that Trump’s $300 million aid package for oil and gas companies that may come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corporation, the same program that would assist struggling farmers and biofuels producers, is “insulting” when similar requests for farmers and biofuel producers were denied.

The press release from the Vilsack and Judge Zoom call said:

“This week Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler announced the Trump administration will deny 54 gap-year small refinery waivers. In three years, Trump’s oil and gas waivers diverted more than four billion gallons of biofuels from the fuel market. Oil and gas companies began requesting gap-year waivers in 2020 in an effort to get around court-ordered limits on future waiver approvals. 68 gap-year waivers have been requested on top of traditional requests, which continue to outpace those requested and approved during the previous administration.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that Trump is now floating a $300 million aid package for oil and gas companies that may face rejections for waivers requested for 2019 and 2020. Decisions have yet to be made on these waivers, yet Trump is considering aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds would presumably come from the Commodity Credit Corporation, the same program that would assist farmers and biofuels producers struggling thanks to the waivers that cut 4 billion gallons from the market, as well as the impacts of the pandemic. When faced with similar requests for farmers and biofuel producers, Secretary Purdue has said he does not have the authority.

During today’s press call with reporters, Judge and Vilsack emphasized the damage Trump has done while seeking credit for cleaning up his own messes and the insulting nature of a USDA aid package for Big Oil.”

On the other hand, Senator Chuck Grassley wrote this about the Trump’s administration work to boost biofuels, saying “The Trump administration’s decision [to reject the 54 petitions] provides a much-needed dose of certainty as the harvest gets underway.” and that “The Trump administration stands by its commitment to biofuels and is continuing to cut regulatory tape, expand consumer choice and help farmers. President Trump recently gave the green light to the states to allow retailers to use their 10-percent ethanol pumps for the 15-percent blend. Previously, federal regulations required a cost-prohibitive investment for retailers to install new fuel storage tanks before they could sell E-15 at the pump.”

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Category: Policy

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