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Trump kept his promise to farmers on year-round ethanol

Politicians love to talk about farmers, often invoking images of families waving American flags by sun-soaked corn fields. They pledge their commitment to Rural America, but often their “commitment” ends on Election Day. That hasn’t been the case with President Trump.

With every visit to Iowa, he reaffirms his support for ethanol, which supports more than 43,000 Iowa-based jobs, as Iowa accounts for approximately 27 percent of national ethanol production and is the top corn- and ethanol-producing state in the U.S.

In 2016, President Trump said “We are going to end the EPA intrusion into your family homes and family farms.” That same year, he also said “I would encourage regulators to end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol and biofuel from being sold.” Since then, there have been battles in Washington over the fate of the ethanol industry. Big Oil has pushed him to renege on his promises, including the year-round sales of E15.

The ban of summertime sales of E15 never made sense. Government intervention in the energy sector impacts everything from fuel sales to how fuels are taxed. The regulatory burdens imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have prevented innovation and limited consumer choice.

Thousands of Iowans have contacted us to say they need E15 to keep farming. As their representatives and long-time supporters of ethanol, we’ve been frequent advocates on its behalf to President Trump.

We’ve had dozens of conversations with the president, engaged members of his staff, called upon the EPA and the Department of Energy to take positive and favorable action on E15 and ethanol, sent oversight letters, participated in hearings and publically expressed our support for ethanol in the media.

The president heard us. More importantly, he heard Iowa farmers.

His directive to EPA to finalize a rule allowing year-round sales of E15 will allow for an open marketplace with more fuel options, encourage competition and drive down fuel costs — all while improving the environment. It will also maintain and create jobs in Iowa and Rural America that need them most and decrease our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Ending the nonsensical ban on the summertime sale of E15 is a promise made and kept by President Trump. Unlike so many politicians before him, he is following through on his commitments. This is a victory for farmers, rural America and the entire nation.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Governor Kim Reynolds


 

We need renewed interest ag economy

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After delivering on a key promise to farmers across the Midwest, President Trump is headed back to Iowa. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acting just in time for the summer driving season, approved year-round sales of E15 (a 15% ethanol blended fuel), lifting the regulation that restricted E15 sales only to winter months.

Having been involved in farming and agriculture my entire life like many in southwest Iowa; our livelihoods depend on competitive agricultural markets. A growing market for ethanol means an expanding market for corn, which would be a welcome change to all corn producers. The recent E15 rule-making has potential to unlock billions of gallons of new ethanol demand, thereby increasing the market for Midwest corn growers — a huge victory for farmers and for the rural agriculture economy.

But allowing year-round sales of E15 to provide growth in new markets is only the tip of the iceberg and falls short of providing the boost we need. At the same time as allowing year-round E15 sales, another vital biofuel-related issue is looming while the EPA, in proverbial “smokey backroom deals”, continues to hand out dozens of secret refinery exemptions to some of the world’s largest oil companies. These exemption deals allow Big Oil to bypass Federal biofuel laws and destroy the same markets that year-round E15 was meant to grow.

I continue to support President Trump beyond the 2016 election, however, to revitalize the farm economy, we need renewed interest from the Administration, and a stronger commitment to opening new markets.

In order for Midwest farmers to win trade wars overseas, it is imperative to have support from regulators here, at home, including the EPA. When Iowa is host to President Trump, I am hopeful that we hear he is ready to do what it takes to work to restore the ag economy, and to direct the EPA to end restrictive, unequal, anti-ethanol exemptions.

Margaret Stoldorf, Red Oak

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