Having hammered rural America with his reckless trade and feckless infrastructure policies, Donald Trump is trying to win back farm votes by proposing to allow more ethanol in gasoline year-round:
U.S. President Donald Trump will seek to lift a federal ban on summer sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline on Tuesday, a senior White House official said, delivering on a move long-sought by anxious Midwest farmers ahead of November’s elections.
The move will be coupled with restrictions on biofuel credit trading sought by merchant refiners like Valero Energy Corp and PBF Energy Inc. Those rules would be aimed at retailers and oil majors accused by merchant refiners of driving up cost of complying with biofuels blending laws [Jarrett Renshaw and Humeyra Pamuk, “Trump to Lift Ban on Higher-Ethanol Gasoline Ahead of November Elections,” Reuters via KELO Radio, 2018.10.08].
Trump may also be hoping a little more corn whiskey in our cars will temper the gasoline prices that are bucking the usual fall trend and rising thanks to his reckless anti-Obama foreign policy:
Gas prices are going in the wrong direction for American consumers. The national average is climbing towards $3 a gallon at a time of year when it should be falling. With midterm elections around the corner, that is uncomfortable news for incumbents.
The reason is not hard to find. President Donald Trump decided to take almost 3 million barrels a day of crude oil off the market by reinstating sanctions on Iran, just as OPEC and its friends had succeeded in draining excess global inventories [Julian Lee, “Just in Time for Election Day: Gas at $3 a Gallon,” Bloomberg, 2018.10.07].
We can keep watching from the passenger seats, watching Trump randomly shift gears to pander to his arena mobs, or we can elect a Democratic Congress to take the driver’s seat and get America back to rational policy-making.