Credit or Blame

Have you ever watched a movie and then later talked with someone else who saw it and while discussing it you wonder if you both saw the same movie?  We are going through that right now as each political party paints their picture of America at their national conventions.  Obviously they have vastly different views on where we are and where we need to go.  While this campaign heats up the battle for rural American votes does as well. What some describe as “fly over” country certainly played a big part in Donald Trump’s election four years ago.  Now President Trump is trying to keep that support while Joe Biden hopes to at least make a dent in that base. The huge question yet to be answered is whether rural voters give President Trump credit for his assistance during a very tough time or do they blame him for causing a lot of it.  While not the only issue, biofuels have become a key part of that debate.  Along with helping lessen our dependence on foreign oil, the U.S. biofuels industry provides jobs and economic activity for rural economies while providing markets for grain farmers and feed for livestock producers.  Its footprint is much larger than many people realize.  While both candidates say they are supporters of biofuels both also have mixed track records.  The Trump administration did allow year-round E 15 sales but has also allowed EPA to grant numerous waivers to the RFS for oil refineries.  The Biden campaign has criticized the Trump administration for those waivers and for delaying the announcement of Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for next year.  It should be pointed out however that up until now the Trump administration has met those announcement deadlines, something the Obama/Biden administration often failed to do.  Both parties have frustrated the biofuels industry by often over-promising and under-delivering. While this is one of many important issues in this campaign it could make a big difference in an election expected to be close.  As both candidates pledge their support for biofuels many voters are not only trying to decide if they are watching the same movie but more importantly whether they have seen it before.