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Trump pushes Big Corn and Oil to break biofuels deadlock

Trump pushes Big Corn and Oil to break biofuels deadlock thumbnail

U.S. President Donald Trump urged representatives from the rival oil and corn industries on Thursday to break a deadlock in talks over the future of the nation’s biofuels policy by accepting a deal involving reforms sought by both sides.

FILE PHOTO: The Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery is seen at sunset in front of the Philadelphia skyline in Pennysylvania, U.S., March 24, 2014. REUTERS/David M. Parrott/File Photo

Trump has arranged a series of talks between Big Corn and Big Oil since late last year amid rising concern in the White House over the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a law requiring refiners to mix biofuels such as corn-based ethanol into their fuel.

The decade-old policy was intended to help farmers and reduce petroleum imports but has increasingly divided farmers and energy companies – two of Trump’s most important constituencies. Refining company Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC in the key electoral state of Pennsylvania in January blamed the RFS for its bankruptcy.

A source who attended Thursday’s meeting at the White House said Trump told the gathering of lawmakers and corporate executives that he supports a proposal from the refining industry to cap the price of biofuels blending credits that refiners must acquire to comply with the RFS.

Prices for the blending credits – which refiners must either earn or purchase – have surged in recent years, upsetting companies that in some cases are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on them.

The source, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the discussion, said Trump also expressed support for expanding sales of high-ethanol gasoline – a tweak long-sought by ethanol producers.

The Environmental Protection Agency bans the use of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol during the summer months, a move intended to reduce ozone emissions and smog during the peak driving season.

The two ideas, combined, represented a“win-win” solution for the oil and corn industries that could help them break their deadlock, Trump told the meeting, according to the source.

Biofuel interests in the meeting tried to persuade Trump to approve the so-called E15 waiver and see if that drives down credit prices, but Trump rejected the request saying the industry needed immediate changes.

Trump told the parties that he wanted credit caps and greater use of higher-ethanol blended gasoline and to come back in a week, the source said. He then abruptly ended the meeting, stood and began to exit the room, the source said.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst, of Iowa, asked for more time to study the impact of the price cap, the source said.

“Take the deal, Joni,” Trump said as he walked out of the room, according to the source.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with bi-partisan members of Congress at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Ernst disagreed with the source’s description.

“It’s not accurate. That exchange didn’t take place,” an Ernst spokeswoman said via email on Friday morning.

The White House said after the meeting that talks on the issue would continue:“Today’s meeting is a part of the ongoing effort to best understand the many differing views on this issue, and the president looks forward to continuing this discussion,” it said in a statement.

Republican Senator Charles Grassley of corn state Iowa, who attended the meeting, said the talks did not yield any final decisions, but that an“emerging solution” could include allowing year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol fuel.

He added that he opposes a credit price cap, saying such a move could put“thousands of jobs in rural America” at risk.

No specific price cap level was discussed at Thursday’s meeting, according to the source, but Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has been driving efforts to tweak the RFS on behalf of refiners and who attended the meeting, has proposed limiting credit prices to 10 cents each – a fraction of their current value.

Prices for the credits, called RINs, dropped 10 cents to 53 cents each after the meeting, according to traders.

Cruz said in a statement with Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that he was“encouraged that President Trump recognizes the importance of providing relief from crushing RINs costs and expanding the potential market for ethanol.”


28 Comments on "Trump pushes Big Corn and Oil to break biofuels deadlock"

  1. Shortend on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 8:13 am 

    And they bitch about subsidies for solar power?

  2. fmr-paultard on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 8:19 am 

    guywith hot wife going on grid, no more solar

  3. Sissyfuss on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 9:55 am 

    Ethanol is an energy negative much like President Grifter is a political negative. Read an expose on Melancholia where she said she had a boob job in her early days so she could get more lingerie ads. It struck me why these two were attracted to each other. Two shallower people do not exist. Yes, there is someone for each of us. Love means never having to say you’re cognitive

  4. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 10:52 am 

    Late stage capitalism was never going to be fun—

  5. Davy on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 11:07 am 

    Ethanol Could have a place in our energy future because it is a liquid fuel. It should be used locally within the farming economy. Using ethenol as it is used now is definitely an energy negative. We are using energy on one end to yield energy on the other end with all the usual losses. It does not add up. You can transport this stuff very far before it’s energy balance drops considerably. We could clean that picture up by keeping the product local. We could possibly mix it with liquid fuel derived from renewable sources again to support the local AG economy. Of course, this would not happen in today’s economy. Instead we get the above scenario of special interest gaming. I am just saying these liquid fuels have a place but behavior prevents proper applications.

  6. dave thompson on Sat, 3rd Mar 2018 3:29 pm 

    Liquid BIO fuels such as Ethanol only exist because of Federal subsidies. The old Model T of yesteryear was able to use ethanol but it was a much less refined product,like a moonshine. Today in order to burn ethanol in a modern motor it has to be highly refined, that makes it very expensive.

  7. Kat C on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 3:53 am 

    Corn ethanol is not worth the energy used to produce it
    One of the ways it is feasible economically other than subsidies is that they sell the by product, DDGS (dried distiller grain solids) to farmers for animal feed. Several problems with that. Farmers can only use that as a certain percent of the feed so some of this ends up getting shipped to Europe (what does that do to ERoEI)
    Second problem is if you have a wet year corn is vulnerable to mold. The mold doesn’t hurt the ethanol and is killed in the process, but the mycotoxins the mold produces is bad for livestock. So the ethanol distillers reject loads of corn with too high levels of mold
    I know someone in the pig industry. He said farmers try to mix good corn with bad to overcome the rejection levels for ethanol and human consumption but one year he wondered if there was enough good corn to mix with the bad.
    Nothing in our world is simple and to treat it as such is a great mistakes. When all goes well, interactions can remain hidden, when things start going wrong, we suddenly find moisture in the midwest interacting with fuel in cars. I have been watching similar interactions pop up over the years. We don’t have a clue what we are doing but we forge ahead anyway.
    BTW if you don’t like ethanol in your gas tank here is a place that tells you where you can ethanol free gas near you

  8. rockman on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 3:13 pm 

    Given that I have a serious doubt the POTUS is getting an unbiased and accurate explanation of the ENTIRE ethanol dynamic (if he’s listening to anyone at all) the prospect of a positive outcome seems unlikely.

  9. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 3:31 pm 

    “Corn ethanol is not worth the energy used to produce it”

    It’s called corn ethanol for a reason. Corn is the purpose, biomass the free byproduct. If you have it lying around anyway, you might as well use it for energy production. Growing corn for energy only would be madness indeed.

  10. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 4:10 pm 


    Shut the fuck up you dumb neck beard troll!

  11. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 4:23 pm 

    You are angry millimind. Do you want to talk about it? Are you depressed? Aren’t things going according to plan? I’m sorry to hear that.


  12. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 4:42 pm 

    How to bring this to millimind: the Right appears to be winning in Bella Italia:

    The Kremlin loves it:

  13. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 5:32 pm 


    Remember what happened to Bin Ladin?

    Vlad the bad will be next!

  14. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 5:34 pm 


    Who cares who wins the election in Italy their people are so depressed due the economic depression currently in Europe they have lost all hope and faith in their government. Only people dumb enough to still believe in the system are people on the right. Since most are all uneducated.

  15. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 5:37 pm 

    Clogg don’t celebrate that election victory too much!

  16. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 6:13 pm 

    “Remember what happened to Bin Ladin?”

    Sure, he died of kidney failure by the end of 2001.

    Another one of those topics Davy prefers not to talk about. Would be anti-American or something.

    9/11 = CIA/Mossad

  17. Davy on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 6:22 pm 

    who cares neder, besides globalresearch is a nutter site for nutters like you and billy 3rd world.

  18. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 6:39 pm 


    Not true..Wikileaks released an email from the US government that said they never buried him at sea like they told the public and press. They flew his body back to the US to examine it..And that proves they did really kill him. Also there were people who lived in Pakistan who tweeted about the helicopter noises that night and the raid happening. And according to Seymour Hirsch the Saudi’s had been paying Pakistan to keep him in hiding their.

  19. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 6:40 pm 


    LOL look at cloggs sources sot and global research LOL He is the biggest tin foil hat nutter in the world. Everything is a conspiracy to him.

  20. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 11:40 pm 

    “Not true..Wikileaks released an email from the US government that said they never buried him at sea like they told the public and press. They flew his body back to the US to examine it”


    You must be really nuts if you believe what comes out of the mouth of the US gov or its water carriers like the local zog-bots davy, boat, tard, owned by millimind.

    No need for “conspiracy theories”:

    Now finally a collapse doomer dave can believe
    Elementary physics: the building was blown up, hence exit 19 Airabs with boxcutter baloney. But the local marxist not too bright gang of four here will continue to lie themselves in a hole. How to get rid of cancer.

  21. MASTERMIND on Sun, 4th Mar 2018 11:46 pm 


    Do you know how long it takes to wire up a building to blow up? It would have taken a few months to rig up both the world trade centers. Don’t you think someone would have noticed? LOL

  22. Cloggie on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 12:15 am 

    Two posts in this thread went missing

  23. Cloggie on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 12:16 am 

    Somebody wants to prevent a 911 discussion.

  24. MASTERMIND on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 12:35 am 

    HAHAH! Look how paranoid clogg is he thinks someone is deleting post about 911 conspiracies! LOL It was Soros on his mac book I bet! LOL

  25. MASTERMIND on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 12:35 am 

    The financial revolution has no solution for stagnant wages, income inequality and job insecurity

    Three decades ago, a revolution occurred in the world economy. Today, we’re living through its extensive political consequences. This revolution consisted of financialization. Financial services, from banks and hedge funds to trading houses, became the largest industry in the U.S. Market speculation replaced industrial productivity as the motor of U.S. growth, while mobile capital was steadily liberated from tax and regulatory regimes around the world.

    The impact of this revolution has been incalculable. Accompanied by the rapid enrichment of a few and stagnation and disappointment for many more, it’s destabilized political life on all continents, empowering, among others, volatile demagogues such as Donald Trump.

  26. Davy on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 5:09 am 

    “Two posts in this thread went missing…Somebody wants to prevent a 911 discussion.”

    The loon is losing it!

  27. Anonymouse1 on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 6:12 am 

    Well, if anyone would know about a loon losing it around here, it would be you, delusionist.

  28. Davy on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 6:20 am 

    Weasel one liners from someone who is struggling to graduate and leave mom’s basement. Troll, can you actually produce a coherent comment? One liners don’t prove you have intelligence it just proves you are a Canadian millennial waste case. This behavior is proof that Canada has little future based upon the intelligence demonstrated by its youth.

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