Trump scuttles ethanol policy deal, senators say

Trump scuttles ethanol policy deal, senators say
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President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE has stopped an expected deal to change how the federal government enforces the federal ethanol mandate.

Iowa GOP Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyJustice IG says report doesn’t assess ‘credibility’ of Russian probe DOJ watchdog probing Comey's memos, will release another report Grassley demands details on Comey's use of personal email MORE and Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstPruitt’s new problem with the GOP: Ethanol Trump’s danger on North Korea? Raised expectations Conservative group launches ad calling on Trump to fire Pruitt MORE both tweeted the news late Tuesday, and a source familiar with the matter confirmed it.

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The White House was expected this week to unveil a deal that would have, among other measures, counted exported ethanol toward the annual volume mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard, effectively decreasing the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline.

Trump “helped farmers by rejecting bad ethanol deal. I appreciate. GREAT NEWS,” Grassley tweeted.

Ernst tweeted that Trump “just assured me he 'won’t sign a deal that’s bad for farmers!' Thank you, Mr. President!”

Iowa dominates the country's corn production, the feedstock that produces most of the country’s ethanol.

The Trump administration deal would have also removed restrictions on selling gasoline with high ethanol concentrations in the summer, a move supported by ethanol backers.

Grassley and Ernst had spent Tuesday chastising Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPress: Drain the swamp – of Scott Pruitt Overnight Energy: Supreme Court to rehear Alaska moose hunter case | Greens to sue Trump's Chicago hotel | EPA stops having press aide review grants Supreme court to rehear Alaska moose hunter, hovercraft case MORE — whose agency is responsible for the ethanol mandate — over the expected agreement.

Ernst said at an event that Pruitt “is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C. … and if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own Cabinet.”

She was referring specifically to Pruitt's spending and ethics scandals, but her main anger at Pruitt was over ethanol.

“This is a case where the president is being ill-served by political appointees that aren't carrying out his agenda,” said Grassley.