The Trump Administration announced a change to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), claiming that they have fixed the broken policy.
They are proposing to allow more ethanol to be blended in gasoline, while allowing exports of biofuels to count as part of the RFS. But this will only make sure that oil companies and agribusiness corporations can profit from the policy. As Senator Ted Cruz tweeted:
Terrific final decision from @POTUS meeting: E15, year-round plus RINs for all exports. This is a WIN-WIN for everyone. More corn will be sold (good for farmers), plus lower RINs (saves blue-collar refinery jobs), plus more ethanol exports (good for America).
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 8, 2018
The Trump Administration’s main problem with the RFS was that it cut into the oil industry’s profits. They ignore that it has contributed to environmental destruction, a global food crisis, massive agribusiness expansion, and farmers being forced off their land. Trump’s deal is bad for local communities and the planet.
Cruz and others say that this deal is good for farmers, and that exports and biofuels will help them out by creating demand for their crops. But these kinds of policies just create price volatility and instability – both of which are really bad for farmers.
U.S. farmers are in a crisis right now, and they are facing historically low prices because they have been driven to overproduce. They need policies that can rein in overproduction, not policies that find harmful new ways to use up excess corn.
We’ve just released two new videos about the reality facing farmers in the Midwest and how their real problem is the dominance of agribusiness. The RFS just props up the agribusiness system. Check them out here: https://www.actionaidusa.org/work/agribusiness-family-farmers.