Ethanol Advocates Praise Trump, Ridicule Pruitt

Jun 8, 2018  | 3 min  | Ep4342

The Farm Bill has gotten traction as the other shoe finally dropped when the Senate Agriculture Committee released its draft of the 2018 legislation. Markup is scheduled for next week.

The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September. Contained in the Senate version released Friday, is a renewable energy component. With oil hovering $40 below prices struck four years ago, energy and BIO-energy advocates continue to fight over their piece of the pie.


Sen. Charles Grassley/R – Iowa: “Don’t forget, the RFS was meant to encourage domestic production and use of ethanol, not to subsidize exports.”

This week, Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley praised President Trump’s decision to scrap an Environmental Protection Agency proposal allowing year-round sales of the ethanol blend E15.  The senator said the president was willing to allow an increased amount of the renewable fuel into U.S. gasoline but refused to approve the use of federally mandated blending credits on exports of the predominately corn-based product.

Grassley blasted EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for diverting from the President’s stated intention to loosen summertime-only restrictions on sales of the higher octane fuel.

Sen. Charles Grassley/R – Iowa: “He’s ill serving the President of the United States and he ought to get with the program, or get out of the program.”

The purchase of the special credits, known as renewable identification numbers or RINs, has been a major sticking point between oil companies and ethanol producers.

Farm state lawmakers and industry advocates say they feel the head of the EPA has been undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. They point to controversial RIN waivers being granted to crude oil refiners that eliminate the obligation to mix ethanol into their portion of the nation’s gasoline supply. 

Ethanol industry promotion groups cheered the defeat of Pruitt’s most recent plan.

Monte Shaw/Executive Director – Iowa Renewable Fuels Association: “It would have ripped the heart out the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw said that while it’s back to the drawing board for year-round sales of E15, RIN exports could have slashed domestic ethanol demand.  But he added renewable fuels producers still have their work cut out for them.

Monte Shaw/Executive Director – Iowa Renewable Fuels Association: “You know, we’re now at the status quo.  And the status quo today isn’t even the same as the status quo in January because Scott Pruitt at the EPA has been granting these small refinery exemptions under very questionable terms.”

Two lawsuits have been filed against the EPA suing to rein in Pruitt’s use of waivers for the purchase of RINs. Shaw echoed Grassley, and others, that the agency’s administrator has failed to comply with a core campaign promise to rural voters about the RFS and energy independence.

President Donald Trump: “I will do all that is in my power to achieve that goal.”

Sen. Charles Grassley/R – Iowa: “A presidential appointee ought to be expected to carry out the president’s position. …and he still supports ethanol.”

For Market to Market, I’m Josh Buettner.




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