Many farmers who voted for President Trump in 2016 are now turning against him.
Midwest farmers had already been suffering because of Trump’s tariff war with China. But it’s the administration’s decision to grant oil refineries waivers from including ethanol in their production that is the straw breaking the camel’s back.
The Renewable Fuel Standard requires oil refineries to blend biofuels like ethanol with their fuel. About 40 percent of U.S. corn is turned into ethanol. Now that demand for ethanol is plummeting, corn producers are hurting.
Since 2018, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued some 85 waivers to oil companies, including just 31 this month. Farmers see this as favoritism to the oil industry.
Trump seems to know he has a farmer problem. He recently tweeted:
The Farmers are going to be so happy when they see what we are doing for Ethanol, not even including the E-15, year around, which is already done. It will be a giant package, get ready! At the same time I was able to save the small refineries from certain closing. Great for all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2019
Trump’s new “giant package” is unlikely to repair the damage being done.
After Trump’s tweet, Roger Johnson of the National Farmers Union, in an interview with MSNBC, said:
“It’s going to be decades — literally — before we get some of these markets back, if ever.”