Biden’s Big Corn battle

Source: By Lauren Silva Laughlin, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2021

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – A battle between Big Corn and Big Oil is brewing, and U.S. President Joe Biden is in the middle. He is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. refiners, required to mix ethanol into fuel, Reuters reported on Friday. That could help refineries in his home state of Delaware, but it risks irking important constituents in Iowa.

The Renewable Fuel Standard mandating the oil blend has been a boon for the corn industry. Some 40% of U.S. corn is now used for ethanol production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But adding it, or buying credits to waive the requirement, is expensive.

Recently Delaware’s Governor John Carney stepped up pressure to reform the industry in an effort to help local businesses, according to Delaware Public Media here. Bowing to it would give the impression that Biden is helping oil over farming. Having friends in high places never hurts. But the powerful role Iowa plays in presidential politics, and Biden’s aversion to fossil fuels, suggest the battle has only just begun. (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)