Whenever there is a change in Washington leadership, there is a sense of unease. It takes time to get to know who you are working with and what their agenda is going to be. With last week’s Georgia runoff elections giving Democrats full control of the executive and the legislative branches, there are question marks on how much agriculture will be affected by the planned environmental policies of the Democratic party. Many Ag groups are trying to get a seat at the table with the incoming Biden Administration, and are wanting the leadership to understand how agriculture works. They want any policy changes that come for agriculture to be fair and not a burden to the farming industry.
Having the chance to meet with leaders in advance goes a long way to easing some of that uncertainty.
Jon Doggett is the CEO of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). He is a Washington veteran of more than thirty years. He says that in the time he has been in Washington, he has never witnessed a better outreach to agriculture than he is seeing from the incoming Biden Administration. That gives Doggett a lot of hope.
President-Elect Biden’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency is Michael Regan of North Carolina. He is expected to toe the line with the desired climate policies from the Biden Administration. However, Regan has taken the time to reach out to Doggett. He did so before the holidays in 2020.
2020 was a bad year for the ethanol industry. Covid-19 and the pandemic jumped onto the back of an industry that had already been hurt by the Trump Administration’s tactics on trade and complete disregard for the Federal mandate for blending requirements. Not to mention the wholesale granting of small refinery exemptions they handed out to oil companies that should never have qualified for them.
Doggett took the opportunity to advocate for biofuels in his talk with Regan. Reminding him of the importance the industry has to the rural economy.
Doggett also told Regan that he hopes any kind of carbon credit system benefits the producers directly, and not the conglomerates who hope to buy and sell these credits around the world.
Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th. All appointees must be vetted by the Senate which has a 50-50 Democrat advantage. All ties will be settled by Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.