Ethanol is a big deal in Iowa. Almost half the corn grown in Iowa is used for ethanol production, and Iowa produces almost 30% of all ethanol in the US. So it is not a big surprise that it was a big issue during the Iowa caucuses.
Donald Trump came out swinging, claiming that Ted Cruz would destroy the ethanol business because the Texas senator was bankrolled by oil companies:
He will destroy your ethanol business 100 percent. And look, I’m not really blaming him because he’s financed by oil people. The oil people don’t want ethanol, it’s very simple… Your ethanol business if Ted Cruz gets in will be wiped out within six months to a year. It’s gonna be gone.
And this worked against Cruz in Iowa, despite the fact that it was a lie. Cruz was actually proposing using up to 25% ethanol in gas mixtures. But regardless, how is that working out for Iowa farmers now that Trump has been elected?
Trump’s team is now against ethanol. Not that Trump himself will say anything, but his special advisor Carl Icahn (who is the majority owner of an oil refiner) says “there are people on the Trump team that believe ethanol itself does very little”. People like Trump’s pick for the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, a friend of the oil companies who up until recently was suing the EPA on their behalf, and (of course) is a climate-change denier.
Or maybe Rex Tillerson, Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, who is currently the President and CEO of Exxon-Mobil. So now that Trump is giving major positions in his cabinet to oil company insiders, how long will it take for Iowa’s ethanol business to get “wiped out”?
I’m still waiting for all the suckers who voted for Trump to realize that they’ve been had.