Good news for ethanol industry

A limitation on sale of this important Iowa product is ending

Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, the two Republicans who represent the Hawkeye State in the United States Senate, are both strong champions of Iowa’s evolving ethanol industry. They are working collaboratively to make sure that our state’s ethanol producers do not face marketing obstacles as a result of unnecessary federal government regulations.

With that in mind, the Iowans took part in a meeting at the White House on May 8 that also included President Donald J. Trump; Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Pat Toomey, R-Penn.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Possible modifications in the way the federal government Renewal Fuel Standard is administered were the focus of this important gathering.

The meeting produced a major change that will benefit our ethanol-producing state greatly.

For some years, the EPA has banned the sale of gasoline with a blend of 15 percent ethanol during the summer. This regulatory rule was based on the claim that this more-ethanol intensive product than the 10 percent blend sold all year long might result in greater smog during hot weather. It was announced following the White House meeting that the president has agreed that this limitation on selling E15 will end.

“That’s good news for farmers and consumer choice at the pump,” Grassley said in a statement issued May 8. “Allowing higher blends of ethanol to be sold in the summer months fits in well with EPA deregulatory agenda.

The Messenger heartily agrees.

Iowa leads the U.S. in ethanol production. Our state has 43 ethanol refineries. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, they are capable of generating 4.4 billion gallons of ethanol per year. This important regulatory change should strengthen this already important contributor to the Hawkeye State’s economy by boosting ethanol production. It’s also good news for those Iowa farmers who grow corn. If more ethanol is sold in the months ahead, the demand for their product will increase.

Grassley and Ernst deserve praise for their efforts to eliminate unnecessary federal regulations. They recognize that business growth is vital if prosperity is to grow in our state.

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