Ethanol Left Short of Allies in Trump Cabinet Full of Detractors

President Elect Donald Trump speaking at the 2016 Renewable Fuels Summit

By Mario Parker and Jennifer Dlouhy, Bloomberg

Despite President Donald Trump’s campaign vows to support American ethanol producers, the $24 billion corn-based ethanol industry finds itself short on allies in the new administration.

Trump’s nominees to lead the three agencies that have the most interaction with the industry have either criticized the nation’s biofuel mandate, known as the renewable fuel standard, or hail from states with influential constituencies opposed to the policy.

“There is concern in the Midwest that no cabinet pick has a demonstrably pro-RFS track record and that there is no Midwestern representation in the cabinet,” said the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in a statement last week.

That’s a big shift from the Obama administration when for eight years former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack served as agriculture secretary, zealously defending the law, signed by former President George W. Bush, that requires refiners to add biofuel to the nation’s diesel and gasoline supply.

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