Tags: Trump Administration | farmers | trump | fox | ads | ethanol

Farmers Appeal to Trump With Fox Ads to Fight Ethanol Waivers

Farmers Appeal to Trump With Fox Ads to Fight Ethanol Waivers
(Vplut/Dreamstime)

Thursday, 20 June 2019 11:55 AM

The National Corn Growers Association launched an advertising campaign on President Donald Trump’s favorite television news source to step up pressure on the administration to pull back on granting waivers to oil refineries exempting them from biofuel requirements.

The ad, airing on Fox News in Washington D.C., calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to halt “special favors to oil companies” and “stop betraying President Trump’s commitment to farmers.”

The ads began airing Thursday and will continue into next week, according to a statement from the group. Liz Friedlander, a spokeswoman for the corn growers, declined to provide more information on the size of the ad buy.

The waivers the EPA has been issuing on compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard pits two factions of Trump’s political base -- farmers and oil companies -- against each other as the president’s 2020 re-election approaches.

When Trump visited an ethanol plant in Iowa last week, Kevin Ross, a farmer and official with the corn association, speaking inches away from Trump, pleaded with the president to curb waivers that exempt refineries from complying with the mandate. The ad includes video of Ross’s comments.

Trump didn’t address Ross’s waiver remarks on stage at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC distillery in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The mandate compels crude processors to blend biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel with petroleum, thereby boosting corn demand. Federal law authorizes the EPA to issue exemptions for small refineries facing a “disproportionate economic hardship,” and ethanol proponents argue the administration has handed out the waivers too freely.

Trump’s political opponents have pounced on the refinery waivers, with Democratic presidential hopefuls -- among those Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand -- blasting the exemptions.

Waivers are handed out “in secret to help some of the largest oil companies and refiners evade their compliance obligations,” Klobuchar, Gillibrand and 10 other senators said in a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

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The dispute puts factions of Trump's base at odds ahead of the election.
farmers, trump, fox, ads, ethanol
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2019-55-20
Thursday, 20 June 2019 11:55 AM
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