President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a boost to the ethanol industry when he approved using existing filling station pumps to distribute higher-ethanol gasoline.
“Subject only to State approval, our important Ethanol Industry will be allowed to use the 10% Pumps for the 15% BLEND,” Trump tweeted.
The administration’s announcement followed a conversation Trump had with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who has been pushing for the change as she seeks re-election. Ernst, in her own tweet, welcomed the news.
But some rural voters remained wary of what they argue historically has been Trump’s backing of the oil industry at the expense of promoting alternative fuels.
Farmers are frustrated that the Trump administration is again considering dozens of requests by the oil industry for small-refinery exemptions from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard. Last year those exemptions cut billions of gallons from the amount of ethanol and biodiesel the oil industry is required to blend into the nation’s fuel supply.
The Trump administration’s EPA in 2019 approved the sale of a 15 percent ethanol-gasoline blend known as E15 year-round. It previously had been blocked for sale in the summer in many areas where smog is an issue.
Sources: MarketWatch, Farm Progress