Trump boosts ethanol industry

A limitation on sale of this important Iowa product is ending

For some years, the Environmental Protection Agency has banned the sale of gasoline with a blend of 15 percent ethanol — E-15 — 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. That appears about to end.

At a campaign rally in Iowa, President Donald Trump announced that he has directed the EPA to begin the process of making it possible to sell E-15 year-round.

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.

The rule-making process that the president has directed be initiated is lengthy. It affords opponents of an expansion of ethanol sales the opportunity delay or prevent the welcome change the president is championing.

“I’ll be working closely with the Trump administration and farm-state lawmakers to help the president keep his promise to expand year-round sales of E15,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in a statement released by his office on Oct. 12.

Grassley has been one of the ethanol industry’s strongest backers since its infancy. He has been tireless in his support.

The Messenger applauds the president’s commitment to ethanol. This industry is important to Iowa’s prosperity and a big positive contributor to our local and regional economies.

COMMENTS