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Oil-State Republicans Want USDA Banished From Biofuel Waivers

  • Sonny Perdue barred by law from getting involved, senators say
  • Trump pressured to stop waiving refineries from biofuel quotas
A Shale-Oil Boomtown As Oil Bust Proves To Be Good
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A dozen Republican senators are insisting that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stop intervening in government decisions over granting oil refineries exemptions from biofuel-blending quotas, warning the White House that his involvement is potentially illegal.

The Republicans issued their demand in a letter to President Donald Trump, following reports the Agriculture Department chief pushed regulators to pare the exemptions and redistribute the waived quotas to other refineries, although they say federal law gives Perdue no role in the issue. The move escalates an intense battle between two core Trump constituencies -- oil and agriculture -- heading toward the 2020 elections.