Delivering on a key campaign promise, today President Donald Trump directed the EPA to remove current restrictions on E15 so that it may be sold year-round throughout the country.
The action by Trump is a big win for Iowa farmers and ethanol producers, as well as for Iowa leaders who spearheaded the effort.
“It’s hard to find the proper adjectives to describe how exciting it is to see year-round E15 move forward,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “We have worked non-stop on this issue for seven years while the unjustified restrictions hampered retailers from offering E15. We are grateful that President Trump took this historic action to boost ethanol and corn demand. Simply put, it is a promise made and a promise kept.”
In January of 2016, Trump told over 1,000 Iowans attending the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit that if elected he would “end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol and biofuel from being sold.”
“We also want to thank Iowa’s leaders for championing this effort,” Shaw said. “The petroleum forces tried everything they could to derail E15 or to couple it with demand destroying measures. Thanks to Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, whenever these schemes were put on the president’s desk, Trump rejected them. Gov. Reynolds went above and beyond the call of duty to meet with Trump, talk with Trump and to organize other governors to push for greater biofuels use. Also, Iowa Congressmen David Young, Dave Loebsack, Rod Blum and Steve King stood united to encourage Trump to move forward with E15. And Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig never missed an opportunity to defend E15. Every one of these Iowa leaders deserves credit for this big Iowa win because without them we would have never overcome Big Oil’s opposition.”
Once the restrictions are removed, E15 sales will increase as current E15 retailers can offer the fuel year-round and new retailers will move forward to make E15 available at more locations. Over time, E15 could add nearly seven billion gallons of new ethanol demand, which would use two billion bushels of additional corn per year. The boost to ethanol and corn comes at a welcome time as ethanol prices recently hit a 13-year low and corn prices remain below the cost of production for many farmers.”
“While we savor this victory, it is only the beginning,” Shaw added. “We will work with EPA to ensure the rulemaking process is completed prior to June 1st next year when the summertime E15 restrictions would otherwise go back into effect. We also fully expect the petroleum industry to sue the EPA because they do not want to compete with a lower-priced, higher-octane fuel like E15. But the ethanol industry stands ready to defend President Trump’s brave decision to give consumers the choice of E15.”