Oil refiners are required by law to buy certain amounts of renewable energy, like ethanol, to blend with gasoline, or renewable energy credits. But the absolute amount of ethanol required doesn’t match up with the lower energy demand. The law should have been a percentage when it was passed, but Congress won’t fix it. This leaves refiners clamoring for exemptions, which they sometimes get.
But now the Trump administration has decided to cut back on exemptions for oil refiners, which is the same thing as boosting demand for ethanol, which is made from corn, and grown by farmers. The price of renewable fuels jumped 25% after the news broke.
With trade at risk from the coronavirus, this could be a different way of supporting farmers without having to do so directly.
Some might find this interesting in an election year.