Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Mario Parker, Bloomberg News September 13, 2019 WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, seeking to tamp down political fallout in U.S. farm states essential to his re-election, has ordered federal agencies to shift course on relieving some oil refineries of requirements to use biofuel such as corn-based ethanol. Trump and top cabinet leaders decided late Thursday they wouldn’t make changes to just-issued waivers that allow small refineries to ignore the mandates, but agreed to start boosting biofuel-blending quotas to make up for expected exemptions beginning in 2021. The outcome was described by people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named before a formal announcement could be made. The decision was reached after a flurry of White House meetings this week on the issue, which divides two of Trump’s top political constituencies: rural Americans and the oil industry. With the move, Trump is largely siding with farmers, ethanol producers and political leaders in Iowa that have accused the president of turning his back on the industry. But the administration’s shift risks blowback in Pennsylvania and other battleground states, where blue-collar refinery workers have held rallies to push for relief from U.S. biofuel quotas they say… Read full this story
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