MASON CITY — South Bend Indiana mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg spoke to an estimated crowd of 500 last night at Lincoln Intermediate School in Mason City and this morning tours the Golden Grain Energy ethanol plant before heading west on his tour of northern Iowa.

Buttigieg says President Trump’s promise to Iowa agriculture community about the Renewable Fuels Standard and the EPA’s actions going against Trump’s word is par for the course for this White House. “Actions speak louder than words and the president says he cares about farmers, but if you look at what has been done with the RFS and the refinery waivers, it’s very clear that he’s not keeping his word, and that’s got a real cost. It was already tough on the soybean side with everything going on with China, on the corn side, you see these problems because folks are frankly being jerked around by mixed signals from the White House, and meanwhile the problem hasn’t been fixed.”

Indiana is fifth in the nation in states that grow corn, and Buttigieg says he sees first-hand the toll the RFS flap is taking. “Out my window you see the ethanol plant that’s our biggest water customer in the city of South Bend, and the whole Midwest is suffering while this president talks out both sides of his mouth.”

Buttigieg says it’s not only farmers and renewable fuel producers that are feeling the impacts of the RFS and trade issues. “It’s farmers and it’s also consumers. Our prices are going to go up in I think a lot more ways than people realize as these tariffs continue to kick in, and we’ve got nothing to show for it. This is not making our economy stronger, on the contrary, I think it’s contributing to some of the concerns were starting to see on the manufacturing side. Coming from a part of the country where we do a lot of manufacturing, I’m very troubled by some of the numbers we’ve seen. In area after area, for farmers, for workers, for consumers, this president has promised a lot and not kept his word.”

President Trump and California Governor Gavin Newsom fought on Twitter on Sunday, with Trump saying he wants to cut off federal funds to fight wildfires raging across California, adding that Newsom is not properly managing the state’s forests. Newsom replied that Trump should be excluded from the conversation since he doesn’t believe in climate change. Buttigieg says Trump is forgetting that his job is to be the president for everybody, including California. “California is part of America, there are a lot of people suffering there, and his job ought to be to heal and to direct resources to help deal with the issue, as well as help make sure it doesn’t happen in the long-term. We know that the climate is becoming more dangerous whether it’s a river city in Iowa or Indiana experiencing more frequent floods, or the wildfires happening more and more often in California. Things that are supposed to happen once in a lifetime are happening on an annual basis. That’s not normal, it’s not okay, it was predicted, and now we got to act and do something about it.”

Buttigieg on Sunday also made stops in Waverly and Charles City. After his tour of Golden Grain Energy this morning, he’ll also make stops at the VFW in Algona at 11:00 AM as well as later this afternoon in Spencer.