Trump promises a lot. But how much does he really deliver? When you look closely, not very much at all. And of those promises, he’s made a complete mess of one in particular — standing up for renewable fuels. Take a look.
From the first year of his presidency until now, President Trump has granted 85 small refinery exemptions — SREs. These allow oil refiners to waive the amount of biofuel they have to blend into their gasoline. Compare that 85 to just 23 from President Obama over the same amount of time. Seems like a pretty big jump, right?
Let’s compare the volumes for these exemptions. Under President Obama, about 690 million gallons were exempted from blending. Under President Trump, 4 billion gallons were taken out of the market. Economists and agriculture experts estimate that’s taken destroyed demand for 1.4 billion bushels of corn, cutting off vital markets for farmers. It has slashed corn and soybean prices. It has shutdown or idled production at dozens of ethanol and biodiesel plants. But most importantly, it has undermined the trust between the rural communities across the midwest that depend on this industry and President Trump.
You see, the ethanol industry creates jobs, directly or indirectly, for more than 850,000 people. All told, it has an economic impact of nearly $200 billion a year. And that money doesn’t get shipped off to the coasts with the fuel. It stays in the communities where the farms and plants are, and creates strong livelihoods for the folks that live there.
Trump picked Big Oil over all those people. He’s had chance after chance to fix the problem he created, and he’s completely blown it. People out here are going to remember that, and you can bet that we’re not going to let the president forget it either.