President Trump is doing damage control relating to midwestern farm states that are critical to his re-election, according to Bloomberg. The president held a lengthy meeting in the oval office on Monday after facing criticism over the EPA’s decision to give 31 refineries exemptions from biofuel blending requirements. Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley said that Trump’s administration had “screwed” farmers.
During Monday’s meeting, Trump mulled the idea of rescinding some of these waivers, but was told that they may not be reversible. However, officials offered other ideas to mitigate political impact in states like Iowa, which was crucial to Trump’s 2016 election.
Among the suggestions was one to expand environmental credits that encourage production of flex fuel vehicles that can run on high ethanol gasoline – and a requirement for government agencies to use more of them. This could increase the use of corn in fuels.
The meeting on Monday was a microcosm of a larger clash over bio-fuel policy that pits farmers and oil against each other. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has been mostly divided, with the United States department of agriculture favoring farmers and the EPA insisting that day the law works in favor of refineries.