Ranking Member Stabenow Speaks Out Against Reports of Trump Administration Plans to Bail Out Oil Companies with USDA Funds

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, responded to reports that the Trump Administration is considering using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds to bail out oil refiners. As reported by Reuters, the Administration is contemplating providing at least $300 million in relief to oil companies who were denied Environmental Protection Agency waivers to avoid the required biofuel blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“It is outrageous for the Administration to even consider taking away millions from our farmers to bail out Big Oil. Over and over, the Trump Administration has sided with oil companies over family farmers. This would be yet another insult to hard-working biofuel producers who are already struggling under a mismanaged RFS program and an erratic trade policy. It’s time for the President to stop paying lip service to farmers and stand up for American agriculture.”

Senator Stabenow spoke on the Senate floor earlier in response to Republican colleagues who are urging the Administration to provide more funding to USDA without guidelines to ensure the funds are being distributed fairly. Earlier this week, an independent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed that the Trump Administration had distributed USDA funds unfairly, which created deep regional inequities, favored certain crops over others, and funneled money to large agricultural operations over smaller farms.