Ethanol industry reserved about Trump agriculture secretary pick

US President Donald Trump has selected former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as the Secretary of Agriculture.

Perdue previously ran a grains and fertiliser company, and said he was chosen based on his business and governmental experience.

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) executive director Monte Shaw said the group would “obviously” work with Perdue, but he had reservations about some aspects of Perdue’s nomination.

“We appreciate that President-elect Trump has shared his pro-Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) views with each Cabinet nominee. Having said that, there is concern in the Midwest that no Cabinet pick has a demonstrably pro-RFS track record and that there is no Midwestern representation in the Cabinet,” Shaw said.

IRFA “sincerely and emphatically” urges Trump to create internal balance with his next round of agency leadership appointments, especially within the EPA, Shaw added.

Environmental groups have condemned Perdue’s nomination, saying Perdue had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal farm subsidies that help chemical companies and large agriculture conglomerates at the expense of small farmers and the environment, according to the New York Times.

“It’s certainly hard to imagine that a former fertiliser salesman will tackle the unregulated farm pollution that poisons our drinking water, turns Lake Erie green, and fouls the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico,” Scott Faber, senior FP of government affairs at Environmental Working Group, told the newspaper.

This article was written by Ilari Kauppila, deputy editor at Biofuels International