It Wasn't Bird Poop but Corn That Fell on Biden During Iowa Silo Speech, White House Says

The moment while the president was delivering a speech on Tuesday inside an Iowa bioprocessing and manufacturing plant

Joe Biden
Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Amid viral social media footage that appeared to show possible bird droppings fall on President Joe Biden during a speech he delivered earlier this week, the White House says that's a bunch of, well, malarkey.

"If you guys knew your way around a corn silo at all, you'd know it was corn," White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, responding to a clip of the moment that was being circulated by GOP.

Indeed, the stain on Biden's blazer does seem to be corn — which would make the most sense, considering the moment in question occurred while the president was delivering a speech on Tuesday inside an Iowa bioprocessing and manufacturing plant.

As fact-checking site Snopes notes, Biden was standing directly beside a mound of processed corn during the speech. Photographs taken at the event show that corn was falling on the pile while the president spoke.

Corn was, in fact, a central figure in Biden's remarks, which focused on lowering energy costs to reduce America's independence on foreign oil (a topic of late as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting international economic sanctions contributed to oil and gas prices rising).

Noting that the factory in which he was speaking turns "more than 40 million bushels of local corn into 130 million gallons of ethanol a year," Biden, 79, said, "homegrown biofuels have a role to play right now ... as we work to get prices under control to reduce the costs for families."

Elsewhere in the speech, Biden announced that the Environmental Protection Agency would be issuing an emergency waiver to allow E15 gasoline — which uses more ethanol from crops such as corn — "to be sold across the United States this summer in order to increase fuel supply."

"Here's what it means: E15 is about 10 cents a gallon cheaper than E10, and some gas stations offer an even bigger discount than that," Biden said.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden. Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty

The president noted, however, E15 was currently only available in "a few thousand pumps." To address that, he said his administration was "investing more than $100 million to build biofuel infrastructure of the future — things like blend pump — blender pumps, the gas pumps that can handle higher blends of bio-ethanol and diesel fuel."

It's the latest in the administration's attempts at lessening fuel costs for Americans — which, coupled with inflation, have shot up as the country financially recovers from the pandemic-fueled slowdown and ongoing supply chain issues, among other pressures. (As the White House is quick to note, there is plenty of good economic news as well.)

Back in November, the president announced he would tap into the U.S. oil reserves to increase supply.

Biden officials said at the time the plan would work in two ways: First, 32 million barrels of oil from the reserve would be exchanged over the next several months, meaning the oil would eventually return to the reserve in the years ahead. The other 18 million barrels of oil would be sold in a direct sale over several months, as part of a plan Congress had previously authorized.

Since that announcement, however, the administration has had to grapple with even higher prices as oil is pressured in part by the invasion of Ukraine (which limited fuel supply). According to the consumer price index, gas prices increased 18% in March, CNBC reports, with AAA estimating that the national average for a gallon of gas on April 14 was just over $4.

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