In boon for farmers, Trump lifts restrictions on ethanol - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

In boon for farmers, Trump lifts restrictions on ethanol

Posted: Updated:

By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration is moving to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel.

President Donald Trump announced he is lifting a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends during a trip to Iowa on Tuesday.

"Today we are unleashing the power of E15 to fuel our country all year long," Trump said at a campaign rally, referring to gasoline blends with up to 15 percent ethanol.

At the White House earlier Tuesday, Trump said: "It's an amazing substance. You look at the Indy cars. They run 100 percent on ethanol."

He said he wants more energy production and to help farmers and refiners.

"I want more because I don't like $74," Trump said, referring to the current price of a barrel of crude oil. "If I have to do more - whether it's through ethanol or another means - that's what I want. I want low prices."

The long-expected announcement is something of a reward to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman led a contentious but successful fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The veteran Republican lawmaker is the Senate's leading ethanol proponent and sharply criticized the Trump administration's proposed rollback in ethanol volumes earlier this year.

Grassley called the proposal "a very good victory for agriculture," ethanol workers and the environment. "Everything about this is good, good, good," Grassley said Tuesday after he and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, met with Trump at the White House.

The White House said the Environmental Protection Agency will publish a rule to allow high-ethanol blends as part of a package of proposed changes to the ethanol mandate.

Gasoline typically contains 10 percent ethanol. The EPA currently bans the high-ethanol blend, called E15, during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days, a claim ethanol industry advocates say is unfounded.

In May, Republican senators, including Grassley, announced a tentative agreement with the White House to allow year-round E15 sales, but the EPA did not propose a formal rule change.

The White House said the proposed rule intends to allow E15 sales next summer. Current regulations prevent retailers in much of the country from offering E15 from June 1 to Sept. 15.

Lifting the summer ban is expected to be coupled with new restrictions on trading biofuel credits that underpin the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, commonly known as the ethanol mandate. The law sets out how much corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels refiners must blend into gasoline each year.

The Renewable Fuel Standard was intended to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign oil and bolster the rural economy by requiring a steady increase in renewable fuels over time. The mandate has not worked as intended, and production levels of renewable fuels, mostly ethanol, routinely fail to reach minimum thresholds set in law.

The oil industry opposes year-round sales of E15, warning that high-ethanol gasoline can damage engines and fuel systems of older cars and motorcycles. Some carmakers have warned against high-ethanol blends, though EPA has approved use of E15 in all light-duty vehicles built since 2001.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, many from oil-producing states, sent Trump a letter last week opposing expanded sales of high-ethanol gas. The lawmakers called the approach "misguided" and said it would do nothing to protect refinery jobs and "could hurt millions of consumers whose vehicles and equipment are not compatible with higher-ethanol blended gasoline."

The letter was signed by 16 Republicans and four Democrats, including Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment Committee.

A spokeswoman for the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group, said allowing E15 to be sold year-round would give consumers greater access to clean, low-cost, higher-octane fuel while expanding market access for ethanol producers.

"The ability to sell E15 all year would also bring a significant boost to farmers across our country" and provide a significant economic boost to rural America, said spokeswoman Rachel Gantz.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Hot ClicksHot ClicksMore>>

  • Can fines rein in Big Tech? Privacy regulators spur a debate

    Can fines rein in Big Tech? Privacy regulators spur a debate

    Friday, May 10 2019 3:12 AM EDT2019-05-10 07:12:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the compa...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the compa...
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the compa...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - This Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington. Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the compa...
    Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the company for alleged violations of its users' privacy.More >>
    Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the company for alleged violations of its users' privacy.More >>
  • Google's privacy push gets a mixed reception

    Google's privacy push gets a mixed reception

    Thursday, May 9 2019 9:53 PM EDT2019-05-10 01:53:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Google's Alexander Hunter gives a demonstration of the Nest Hub Max at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Google's Alexander Hunter gives a demonstration of the Nest Hub Max at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Google's Alexander Hunter gives a demonstration of the Nest Hub Max at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Google's Alexander Hunter gives a demonstration of the Nest Hub Max at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
    Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the company's annual developer conference Tuesday with new privacy tools and updates to Google's artificially intelligent voice assistant.More >>
    Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the company's annual developer conference Tuesday with new privacy tools and updates to Google's artificially intelligent voice assistant.More >>
  • Auschwitz Museum protests death camp images on skirts, bags

    Auschwitz Museum protests death camp images on skirts, bags

    Thursday, May 9 2019 2:21 AM EDT2019-05-09 06:21:01 GMT
    Museum authorities at the Auschwitz-Birkenau former Nazi German death camp in Poland have protested to an online vendor that was selling miniskirts, pillows and other items bearing photos of the camp.More >>
    Museum authorities at the Auschwitz-Birkenau former Nazi German death camp in Poland have protested to an online vendor that was selling miniskirts, pillows and other items bearing photos of the camp.More >>
  • Ohio/PennsylvaniaMore>>

  • ODNR launching task force to review state parks

    ODNR launching task force to review state parks

    Monday, May 20 2019 7:28 PM EDT2019-05-20 23:28:11 GMT

    According to the release, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ohio's State Parks will conduct customer experience reviews of the 75 state parks in the state.

    More >>

    According to the release, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ohio's State Parks will conduct customer experience reviews of the 75 state parks in the state.

    More >>
  • 22-year-old runner collapses at Cleveland Marathon, dies

    22-year-old runner collapses at Cleveland Marathon, dies

    Monday, May 20 2019 3:52 PM EDT2019-05-20 19:52:33 GMT
    Photo: Walsh CavaliersPhoto: Walsh Cavaliers
    Photo: Walsh CavaliersPhoto: Walsh Cavaliers

    A 22-year-old woman running in the Cleveland Marathon has collapsed and died.      University Hospitals spokesman George Stamatis says Taylor Ceepo collapsed at Sunday's race and was dead upon arrival at the hospital.      The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that the cause of the Medina woman's death hadn't been determined.      The Akron Beacon Journal reported Cristine Torek, a public relations specialist for the mar...

    More >>

    A 22-year-old woman running in the Cleveland Marathon has collapsed and died.      University Hospitals spokesman George Stamatis says Taylor Ceepo collapsed at Sunday's race and was dead upon arrival at the hospital.      The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that the cause of the Medina woman's death hadn't been determined.      The Akron Beacon Journal reported Cristine Torek, a public relations specialist for the mar...

    More >>
  • Pittsburgh won't enforce gun controls until suits resolved

    Pittsburgh won't enforce gun controls until suits resolved

    Monday, May 20 2019 3:40 PM EDT2019-05-20 19:40:16 GMT
    Pittsburgh has agreed not to enforce recently passed gun restrictions until lawsuits filed by gun owners are resolved.      An Allegheny County judge issued the order Monday after all parties agreed.      The gun restrictions were approved in April after a mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 worshippers.      The legislation restricts military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle authorities say was use...More >>
    Pittsburgh has agreed not to enforce recently passed gun restrictions until lawsuits filed by gun owners are resolved.      An Allegheny County judge issued the order Monday after all parties agreed.      The gun restrictions were approved in April after a mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 worshippers.      The legislation restricts military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle authorities say was use...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms