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Iowa producers say ethanol limits would mean 'war'

Warn President against restrictions on biofuel production.

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 4:59 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers warned President Donald Trump on Friday that imposing restrictions on biofuels production "would be viewed as a declaration of war on rural America."

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, a group representing the state's 43 ethanol and 12 biodiesel refineries, wrote a letter to Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst on Friday. It called on them to tell Trump that limiting biofuel production would be a "complete abdication of his repeated promises" to protect the renewable fuel standard, a federal law that mandates a minimum volume of biofuels to be mixed in the nation's gasoline and diesel fuel supply.

The group said it has heard that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will push Trump on Monday for a proposal advocated by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas that would significantly reduce demand for biofuels.

The EPA and the White House did not immediately respond to messages seeking confirmation of a meeting.

Cruz has tried to get Trump to waive some of the requirements in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard law that would ease gasoline and diesel refiners' volume mandates. That would reduce demand for the biofuels and violate the RFS, the biofuels producers said.

The biofuels producers allege that Pruitt already has taken action to lift some of the mandated blending requirements through secretive waivers to some petroleum refiners exempting them from compliance and destroying more than a billion gallons of biofuels demand.

"Since taking the helm at the EPA, Pruitt has repeatedly and relentlessly sought ways to subvert the President's RFS promises and to undermine, if not destroy, the effectiveness of the program. His anti-RFS actions must be put to an end because today Scott Pruitt is essentially making a liar out of President Trump," the group said.

Trump gained early support in Iowa during his presidential campaign in part of emphasizing his support for the decades-old RFS program, which is managed by the EPA.

Corn, soybeans and animal fat are used in the production of biofuels and farmers rely heavily on markets for their products created by the fuel additives.

Farmers already are stinging from Trump's tariff fight with China which has affected pork exports and prices and the export of ethanol to China. The next round of tariffs could impact exports of soybeans for which prices already have fallen in anticipation of Chinese tariffs.

Pruitt was closely aligned with the oil and gas industry as an elected Republican official in his home state of Oklahoma. He proposed modest cuts last summer to production quotas for ethanol and other biofuels, despite promises from Trump to leave the RFS alone.

"EPA is chipping away at the Renewable Fuel Standard by issuing secret 'hardship' waivers to oil refining corporations making billions of dollars in profits," Grassley said in a statement, adding further erosion of the RFS would "deal a massive blow to rural America."

Ernst said in a statement that she and Grassley have had countless meetings with Trump and the administration on ethanol and she is "fully committed to protecting the RFS and will not support anything that will harm the 88,000 farms in Iowa or the 50,000 jobs tied to the renewable fuels industry."

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group for the oil and natural gas industry, said it continues to work with leaders in Congress to come up with a comprehensive approach "to fixing the outdated and broken ethanol mandate."

"We appreciate the president elevating this important consumer issue and support efforts to seek a legislative overhaul of the RFS," the group said in a statement.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 610839

Reported Deaths: 7749
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1266401800
Ramsey53172911
Dakota47328475
Anoka43323465
Washington27717296
Stearns22703227
St. Louis18297319
Scott17719139
Wright16561153
Olmsted13549103
Sherburne1215696
Carver1075749
Clay829692
Rice8261111
Blue Earth771944
Crow Wing689599
Kandiyohi670885
Chisago627654
Otter Tail591187
Benton586698
Goodhue486174
Douglas479281
Mower478233
Winona464652
Itasca463168
Isanti446667
McLeod435161
Morrison428462
Beltrami410763
Nobles410150
Steele401419
Polk390772
Becker389457
Lyon365554
Carlton356958
Freeborn352134
Pine337823
Nicollet334545
Mille Lacs315456
Brown308840
Le Sueur300127
Cass288633
Todd288633
Meeker266244
Waseca241023
Martin237233
Roseau212421
Wabasha20843
Hubbard198341
Dodge19023
Renville183946
Redwood178541
Houston175916
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore159710
Faribault157220
Chippewa154138
Pennington153920
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin139437
Watonwan13629
Rock129219
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115420
Pope11406
Swift107618
Murray107410
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89317
Marshall88917
Lake84520
Wilkin84013
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49122
Unassigned48793
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3484
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
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