Ethanol and Memories of Iowa

 

The Story:

At White House meetings as February ended and March began, President Donald Trump met with representatives of the oil refinery and the ethanol industries to try to develop a “biofuels” policy acceptable to both. There was no agreement, except that the two sides should keep talking.

Background:

For a decade now, oil refiners have been subject to a federal regulation that requires that they cover the costs of blending ethanol into their gasoline and diesel. This can be a significant burden on marginal refineries. Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc. filed for bankruptcy court protection in January, and it attributes its insolvency to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The Thing to Know:

An important moment in Donald Trump’s path to the White House was his strong second-place showing in the Iowa caucus, held on February 1, 2016. In the campaigning that led up to that day, Trump promised to protect the ethanol industry, which is powerful in that corn-rich state.

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