Oct 4, 2019

Trump administration unveils new plan to boost corn-based ethanol

Amy Harder, author of Generate

An Iowa cornfield. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration announced Friday a plan that aims to boost corn-based ethanol, the Des Moines Register reports.

Why it matters: President Trump is facing what the paper has branded a "rural rebellion," necessitating this latest twist in a never-ending battle over America's ethanol mandate. The president is stuck between two allies — agriculture and oil interests — feuding with each other.

Where it stands: The EPA, which administers the plan, and the Agriculture Department will take steps to make up for waivers that some smaller refineries, which face compliance under the law, have received.

  • "The shift, which still must be formally proposed and codified, would effectively force bigger, non-exempted refineries to take up the slack," Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: The arcane policy, which requires refineries to blend a certain amount of ethanol into gasoline, has sucked up a lot of oxygen inside the White House and the Beltway. Across much of the country, motorists are mostly not concerned about it as long as gas prices remain low.

My thought bubble: It'll be interesting to see what degree the policy becomes a big topic in this year's presidential election — specifically Iowa, a key battleground state and America's top corn-ethanol producer.

Go deeper: Nebraska's corn farmers are "outraged" at Trump

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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Police block protesters at a rally on May 30 outside the state house on the fourth straight day of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd. Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday, amid tense standoffs with police in several cities.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

U.S. cities crack down on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.