EPA Rule An Issue Pitting Oil Producers Against Corn Farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to allow year-round sales of gasoline mixed with 15 percent ethanol, seeking to calm a dispute between the oil industry and corn farmers.

The proposal Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency fulfills a pledge that President Donald Trump made to U.S. corn farmers, who see ethanol as an important driver of demand for their crops. Oil refineries have been seeking exemptions from government requirements to include ethanol in their fuel mixes.

The dispute between the industry and farmers and lawmakers from Midwest states sparked a billboard campaign and at least one tractor rally in the Midwest last year.

Beyond increasing the amount of ethanol allowed in vehicle fuel, the EPA is proposing regulatory changes in the ethanol program.

Environmental groups say they expect court challenges.

******

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement regarding the EPA’s release of the proposed rule to allow the year-round sale of 15 percent ethanol blends:

“This proposed rule is a huge victory for Iowa farmers and the ag economy as it keeps the process moving forward to expand the use of E15 to year round. I commend EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and President Trump for following through on their promise to get a year-round E15 proposal done by this summer. We look forward to submitting comments and continuing to engage in the process to bring the final rule over the finish line by June 1st. Iowa is the country’s number one producer of ethanol, and this announcement brings greater stability to our ag economy.”