Farmers' organizations are warning President Donald Trump that he will face a real backlash from a key swing-state constituency if his administration keeps pushing to give oil refineries exemptions to biofuel-blending rules.
Bloomberg reports that the Renewable Fuels Association, National Farmers Union, and the National Biodiesel Board all called out the administration's plans to appeal a court ruling that invalidated biofuel waivers that it granted to three oil refineries.
Specifically, the groups said that an appeal of the decision "would be viewed as a stunning betrayal of America’s rural workers and farmers," and could potentially harm the president's reelection prospects.
"We cannot stress enough how important this decision is to the future of the rural economy and to President Trump’s relationship with leaders and voters across the heartland," they said in a joint statement.
Suppliers of corn-based ethanol and soybean-based biodiesel have accused the administration of being all too willing to grant waivers to refineries without considering their impact on the American agricultural industry, which for years has been also hurt by the president's assorted trade wars.
“Trump is on the verge of outraging every farm and biofuel group in the country,” Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, tells Bloomberg. “We could have had a fairly uneventful year for RFS policy heading toward November, but this action would seriously threaten Trump’s reputation in rural states.”