White House offers drought relief, feels heat to waive ethanol mandate

(Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA)

President Barack Obama announced emergency measures Monday to ease the impact of the worst drought in half a century, but stopped short of waiving the government’s requirement that a large portion of the now-shriveled corn crop be diverted to make ethanol.

Obama announced that the Department of Agriculture will buy up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish to help support farmers suffering from the drought. The food purchases will go toward “food nutrition assistance” programs, like food banks. 

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