The Washington Post, in a Monday piece on White House frustration with intractable inflation, pulled back the veil of President Biden’s anti-ethanol sentiment that led to a reluctant one-summer E15 waiver.
The Post, in a rare look into White House thinking about higher ethanol blends, reports President Biden badgered his top staff about an April visit to Iowa to announce one summer of expanded ethanol use.
The paper says Biden, according to two people privy to the conversations, dismissed the policy as ineffective and questioned the value of the trip.
The Renewable Fuels Association would not comment directly on the story, but ahead of the visit, CEO Geoff Cooper was asked about White House resistance to summertime E15 use.
“It’s been very frustrating, and we don’t know why they’re not looking at some of these other options, and trying things that have a proven track record of not working.”
Such as releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The Post reports, after returning to the White House from Iowa, Biden hauled his senior staff, including chief of staff Ron Klain, into the Oval Office and badgered them about the purpose of the event. The paper says Biden worried even before the E15 announcement, it exaggerated ethanol’s ability to cut gas prices and could harm his climate goals.
RFA’s Cooper dismissed both claims in April, as gas prices began their upward spiral to repeated all-time highs.
“Ethanol is 70 to 80-cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline right now, 70 to 80-cents, and commonsense tells you, if you use more ethanol and less gasoline, you’re going to reduce the cost to the consumer, for that finished fuel.”
The difference today is more than a dollar.
The Post reports that USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and other officials urged Biden to make the Iowa trip, arguing it would at least help the Midwest—and the White House, desperate to lower gas prices ahead of the midterm elections.
View the Washington Post article here: https://wapo.st/3aVeJu8