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: 446380

Reported Deaths: 5995
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin927471474
Ramsey39820736
Dakota32876338
Anoka30877363
Washington20066227
Stearns17813187
St. Louis13609241
Scott1191796
Wright11570104
Olmsted1041375
Sherburne818965
Carver692436
Clay650280
Rice604168
Kandiyohi553471
Blue Earth538933
Crow Wing481374
Otter Tail454466
Chisago450832
Benton418685
Winona387246
Douglas373466
Nobles368746
Mower363329
Goodhue345358
Polk327956
McLeod324245
Morrison311144
Beltrami309447
Lyon300636
Becker284139
Itasca284043
Isanti281641
Carlton278543
Steele27229
Pine266013
Freeborn243420
Todd231630
Nicollet223836
Brown214534
Mille Lacs213646
Le Sueur208815
Cass207323
Meeker199233
Waseca188916
Wabasha16953
Martin169326
Roseau165416
Hubbard149238
Redwood139527
Renville137139
Houston135613
Dodge13384
Chippewa130932
Cottonwood126818
Fillmore12245
Wadena119616
Rock109712
Sibley10837
Aitkin107633
Watonwan10638
Faribault104616
Pennington98815
Kanabec97418
Pipestone93923
Yellow Medicine93514
Murray8785
Jackson85210
Swift83118
Pope7375
Marshall70315
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63215
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59310
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4553
Unassigned43668
Grant4298
Norman4238
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3164
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1901
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303464

Reported Deaths: 4269
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45396448
Linn17695274
Scott15387163
Black Hawk13659236
Woodbury12953175
Johnson1204749
Dubuque11312150
Pottawattamie8942112
Dallas882171
Story863834
Webster467571
Cerro Gordo463568
Sioux453756
Clinton448861
Warren438838
Marshall425761
Buena Vista391929
Muscatine386777
Des Moines380941
Plymouth348968
Wapello341698
Jasper320458
Lee314430
Marion302152
Jones270449
Henry263430
Carroll253434
Bremer242248
Crawford228522
Boone216417
Washington214531
Benton208844
Jackson191131
Mahaska190736
Tama185857
Dickinson184226
Delaware172336
Kossuth171343
Clay166019
Wright163024
Fayette160022
Buchanan158323
Hamilton157929
Winneshiek155119
Harrison154762
Hardin154229
Cedar151819
Clayton150748
Butler146824
Page143715
Cherokee138227
Floyd138036
Mills136016
Lyon133832
Poweshiek132424
Hancock129024
Allamakee126927
Iowa123922
Calhoun12209
Grundy120226
Jefferson119524
Madison11899
Winnebago118529
Mitchell115734
Louisa114330
Cass112641
Chickasaw110612
Sac110615
Emmet110331
Appanoose109838
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102424
Franklin101618
Shelby101426
Unassigned9160
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82819
Monroe80818
Clarke7847
Pocahontas77211
Ida74030
Davis68921
Greene6887
Adair68620
Lucas6488
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5993
Taylor5919
Fremont5046
Van Buren49412
Decatur4804
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4118
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 14°
Mason City
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 13°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 21°
Austin
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 21°
Charles City
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 13°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events