Trump open to biofuel policy reform, senators say after meeting

Trump open to biofuel policy reform, senators say after meeting
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is open to reforming the countrys biofuels policy if it can be done in a way that protects jobs in both the refining and agriculture industries, senators said on Thursday after a meeting with Trump on the issue.

Nine lawmakers had requested the meeting to argue that the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, a law requiring refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels like corn-based ethanol into the fuel supply every year, was threatening to put refineries in their districts out of business.

The Trump administration had ruled in favor of Big Corn and against the refining industry in a series of decisions this year, with senators on both sides using parliamentary procedures like holds on administrative appointments to punish rivals.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the lawmaker delegation, said Trump was open to a win-win solution.

The group as a whole agreed with the president to reconvene next week and to expand the group and work together to find a (solution) that is a win for blue-collar workers, a win for jobs, but also a win for farmers at the same time, he told Fox News after the meeting.

Republican Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and James Lankford of Oklahoma also said Trump expressed a desire to help refiners in a way that also protected the interests of farmers, but that more discussions were needed.

It was just a recognition that this is a more complicated problem and were going to have to get everybody together from all sides, Lankford told reporters.

A White House official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.



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