Bustos Statement on Reports of USDA’s $300 Million Big Oil Bailout

Bustos: “There was simply no money to help ethanol and our family farmers, but Secretary Perdue and the Trump Administration have discovered $300 million to bail out big oil.”

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) issued the following statement in response to reports that President Trump and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue are considering using $300 million intended for helping our family farmers and broader agriculture during the pandemic to fund a bailout for big oil companies.

The news comes less than 48 hours after the Trump Administration announced that they will deny the small refinery waiver applications of many big oil companies, but only after losing billions of gallons in biofuels demand due to their abuse of the waivers and facing a 10th Circuit Court decision ordering them to uphold the law.

“Earlier this year, I questioned Secretary Sonny Perdue about why our hardworking biofuels producers were left out of the USDA pandemic relief package. At the time, I was told by Secretary Perdue that the agency simply wasn’t able to help our struggling producers.

“Now, reports are emerging that big oil will get $300 million in taxpayer funds from his agency.

“This comes less than 48 hours after Trump expected fanfare and praise for simply following the law and denying many of the same big oil companies from receiving small refinery waivers exempting them from meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Under Trump, ethanol producers and family farmers have seen three and a half years of broken promises. From handing out small refinery waivers like candy on Halloween to billions of gallons in lost biofuels demand to watching many producers forced to shutter due to the economic impact of COVID-19, this Administration has continued to turn its back on our biofuels producers.

“There was simply no money to help ethanol and our family farmers, but Secretary Perdue and the Trump Administration have discovered $300 million to bail out big oil.

“Rural America deserves more than this bait-and-switch.”

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