Trump, Biden discuss energy in Farm Bureau survey


President Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, each took time to respond to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey on agriculture issues.

Question from the American Farm Bureau Federation: Agriculture is a growing provider of renewable energy—contributing to America’s energy independence and revitalizing rural economies. Our national energy policy should include taking maximum advantage of all available domestic resources to achieve energy independence and a stable energy market, including support for tax provisions that incentivize the production of biofuels and renewable energy. As president, how would you support federal policies that encourage the domestic production and use of biofuels and renewable energy?

Trump: One of the proudest achievements of the first term is that we have gained energy self-sufficiency as a Nation. President Trump and Vice President Pence have been strong supporters of the “all of the above” energy approach. This includes greater oil, natural gas, and renewable fuel production. For agriculture, after decades of inaction by previous Administrations, the Trump Administration allowed year-round sales of E-15. When implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard, the President decided in favor of farmers and said from now on 15 billion gallons of ethanol must mean 15 billion gallons and shouldn’t be undermined by small refinery waivers. Further, to permanently boost market demand for ethanol and biodiesel, the Trump Administration is implementing a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to expand the infrastructure and increase the nation-wide distribution of biofuels. The Trump Administration also is working hard to expand export sales of ethanol around the world including to China, Brazil, Mexico and other markets. Finally, given the vast potential of the bioeconomy to our Nation, foresters, and farmers, the Trump Administration is taking action to recognize that renewable energy produced from forests and agricultural crops should be exempted from regulation and is good for the environment, foresters, farmers, and the U.S. economy.

A strong underlying economy and broader job creation across the country that my Administration has achieved and will achieve again as we overcome this national pandemic will be the greatest driver of renewable energy demand.

Investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure will also drive demand for these incredible products in my second term.

Biden: Renewable fuels are vital to the future of rural America – and the climate. The Biden-Harris Plan will invest $400 billion in clean energy research, innovation, and deployment – more than twice what America spent to put a man on the moon. And, as part of this effort, developing the next generation of biofuels will be a top priority. The Biden-Harris Plan will invest in research to develop cellulosic biofuels in a manner that protects our soil and water and addresses the challenge of climate change, while turning grass, crop residues, and other biomass into fuel. Doubling down on these liquid fuels of the future will not only make value-added agriculture a key part of the solution to climate change – reducing emissions in planes, ships, and other forms of transportation – but will also create quality jobs across rural America. From day one, we will use every tool at our disposal, including the federal fleet and the federal government’s purchasing power, to promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers, and will honor the critical role the renewable fuel industry plays in supporting the rural economy and the leadership role American agriculture will play in our fight against climate change.

Our Administration will also invest in renewable energy sources like wind and solar. President Obama put Joe in charge of the Recovery Act, which invested more than $90 billion in clean energy technology. Those investments contributed to a doubling of the share of domestically produced wind turbine components and produced a dramatic decrease in solar costs, making wind and solar power cost-competitive. We will build on the Recovery Act by setting an ambitious but essential goal for America to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Our clean energy plan will accelerate the already dramatic growth of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.

President Trump has sold out our farmers by undercutting the Renewable Fuel Standard and granting waivers to Big Oil. Those waivers severely cut ethanol production, costing farmers income and ethanol plant workers their jobs. Now, President Trump refuses to announce the 2021 renewable fuel production levels until after the election, leaving farmers concerned of further cuts to production. The Renewable Fuel Standard marks our bond with our farmers and our commitment to a thriving rural economy. Donald Trump doesn’t respect that connection, and he’s thrown it away to the detriment of generations of producers across the Midwest and around the country — many of whom put their trust in him four years ago.

You can see each candidates answers to other agriculture-related questions below:

Food System Resiliency
Farm Policy Programs
International Trade
Tax Policy
Regulatory Reform
Endangered Species Act
Clean Water
Rural Life and Health
Agricultural Labor
Sustainability and Climate Change