Ethanol-oil showdown in D.C.
After months of political maneuvering between oil and ethanol interests, President Donald Trump plans a summit of sorts with parties from both sides, including Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Reuters reported. The goal apparently is to find ways to save the oil industry money on costs associated with a federal mandate that oil companies blend a certain amount of biofuels into their products. Today’s meeting will include one of the oil industry’s main political allies, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz has blocked Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey’s nomination as undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture over Cruz’s concerns about ethanol. Iowa is a top producer of corn and ethanol. The meeting also will include Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, according to the sources.