When Democrats passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, they succeeded in setting mandatory Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) that required ever-increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into gasoline.
Despite documented evidence of ethanol’s damage to consumers and the environment, RFS grew into a taxpayer-subsidized, crony-capitalist, corporate welfare program where the government picked energy winners (Big Corn) and losers (everyone else).
Even though RFS was a key piece of the radical environmentalists’ puzzle, key Democrats involved in the push for biofuels admitted last year they had made a mistake with the ethanol mandate and introduced legislation to phase out corn-based ethanol.
“We’ve now had more than a decade of experience with it, and it had the best of intentions. But it has turned out to be a well-intended flop.
“It actually doesn’t cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, it expands them. It’s had a significant impact on overplanting in fragile areas of the corn belt. It has had significant impacts on small engines. And it’s also had a significant impact on feed prices … and there is a lot of evidence it has increased the cost of food.”
So, how did Trump respond to this admission of failure? Since it was the 2018 election season, he did what he always does when an election is at stake — use bribery to steal votes and support. Trump promised to take care of Republicans and producers of corn by protecting and expanding ethanol production.
Leveraging the ethanol issue for political gain isn’t new for the New York Liberal.
Leading up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Trump unsuccessfully tried to beat Ted Cruz — who opposed RFS — by promising to increase ethanol production. And in October 2017, Trump bribed King Corn by overruling former EPA head, Scott Pruitt’s effort to rein in RFS after Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and a handful of other RINOs representing corn-producing states lobbied Trump to do so.
I predicted during the 2018 midterms that once they were over and Trump moved into 2020 campaign mode that he would most likely go all-in on corn-based ethanol in preparation for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential nominating contest.
Yesterday, Trump confirmed my prediction when new EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler released a possibly illegal rule lifting the summer ban on higher-ethanol blends of gasoline (E15).
“Consistent with President Trump’s direction, EPA is working to propose and finalize these changes by the summer driving season. We will be holding a public hearing at the end of this month to gather important feedback.”
Summertime bans on E15 were imposed years ago over concerns that it made smog worse. And according to the American Petroleum Institute, this rule change could cause consumers to lose the warranty on their vehicle.
Renewable Fuel Standards cost a fortune, fail to reduce pollution, and destroy automobiles, but Trump will do what he thinks best … not for America, but for his 2020 campaign.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.