Lawmakers in tri-state region react to E15 year-round announcement

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – After the EPA finalized a proposal to lift limits on the amount of ethanol in gasoline, multiple politicians that serve Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota have spoken of their approval.  

Read their statements below: 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue 

“I appreciate President Trump’s steadfast support for our patriotic farmers and for his commitment to expand the sale of E15 and unleash the full potential of American innovation and ingenuity as we continue to demonstrate our rightful place as the world’s leader in agricultural and energy production. This move to approve the year-round use of E15 in time for the summer driving season provides consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, driving demand for our farmers and improving the air we breathe. While the Trump Administration and USDA are expanding the ethanol market in the United States, we continue to fight for more export markets in Brazil, Mexico, China, and other countries across the globe. I applaud Administrator Andrew Wheeler for moving expeditiously to finalize this important E15 rule.”

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa 

“This is a promise made and a promise kept by President Trump. It’s been a goal of ethanol producers and Midwest farmers for many years. It will be a boon to the rural economy in Iowa, especially considering continued trade uncertainty. This decision is a commonsense step to allowing consumers to make their own decision about what kind of fuel they want to choose at the pump. Banning this higher blend of ethanol for part of the year never made any sense. Ethanol is good for the economy, good for national security and good for the environment. This is another step the Administration has taken to end harmful bureaucratic red tape that hurt American jobs, consumers and domestic industries.”

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa 

“President Trump delivered on his promise to Iowans. Expanded access to E15 provides Iowa consumers a cleaner, more affordable choice at the pump. We’ll see an increased demand for corn, thus creating an economic booster for our state’s growers.

“This rule also reforms the RIN market by requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings held by an individual actor exceed specified limits. Transparency is critical here, and something that’s been lacking at EPA for quite some time. This is a step in the right direction, but I’ll continue to push the agency to be more forthcoming, especially when it comes to small refinery exemptions and the process in which they grant those waivers.

“The increased demand created by E15 will allow us to support more new ethanol plants—like the one we’re celebrating in Atlantic, Iowa today. Ethanol is an energy source that supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country. By granting the sale of E15 year-round, we’ll see an economic ripple throughout farm country, rural communities, and the entire nation.”

U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer of Iowa’s 1st District

“I am pleased to hear the Administration answer our call to allow the sale of E-15 year-round. Earlier this year, my colleagues on the Congressional Biofuels Caucus and I wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sharing the positive impact that this would have on our districts. Today’s announcement is good news for Iowa’s economy, and for consumers and producers across the country. While I’m encouraged by today’s news, I know Iowa continues to be hit hard by a trade war that was started on Twitter and the ongoing threat that the Administration will approve requests for so-called small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Our corn growers have already lost a billion bushels of corn due to the Administration granting the wavers. I will continue to bring Iowans’ voices to Congress on these vital issues.”

U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack of Iowa’s 2nd District

“I am pleased that E-15 will now be available to consumers year-round. It is unfortunate that it has taken this long, but this rule will finally remove this unnecessary barrier to expanding the use of renewable fuels in time for this summer driving season. Allowing the sale of E-15 during the summer months will give consumers a lower-cost, clean burning fuel option at the pump during the busiest travel season of the year.  I am also pleased to see that many of the proposals that would have had a negative impact on RIN prices and ethanol demand have been removed.

“However, for the RFS to truly remain strong, the EPA must act to curb the excessive use of Small Refinery Exemptions for some of the largest, most profitable oil companies. If the SREs are not used for their congressionally intended purpose, it will undermine all the work done to build and strengthen the RFS. I will continue to fight to expand the use of ethanol, which is a homegrown renewable energy source that supports millions of jobs in communities across Iowa and throughout the country.”

U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa’s 4th District

“The final rule released today by EPA Administrator Wheeler means that E15 can now be sold year-round which is a change I have long been seeking,” said King. “The year-round E15 rule shows that President Trump is a man who keeps his promises, and it is the fulfillment of a promise President Trump made to me when we discussed the importance of removing the EPA’s ‘summer sales’ ban on E15 during our Oval Office meeting. In fact, two days after we met, President Trump announced the change.

Today’s final rule ends the EPA’s needless ‘summer sales’ ban on E15, and it does so in time for this year’s summer driving season. The Trump Administration’s decision to open the calendar to increased sales of ethanol at the time of year when Americans drive the most is a major victory for farmers, fuel distributors, and consumers. I am grateful for the rule change because year-round E15 will promote greater use of ethanol and it will strengthen our important biofuels industry. The most important component is that stations can now go to E15 in their E10 tanks and sell E15 just like they long have with E10.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds 

“Access to E-15 year-round is a significant victory for our farmers. Earlier this year I traveled to Ypsilanti, Michigan and testified in favor of E-15 expansion. I said in my testimony, ‘as the number one producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, we pride ourselves in leading the charge in advancing the renewable fuels industry.

“I want to thank President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler for following through on their promise to get E-15 done by this summer, fulfilling a critical commitment to our farmers and rural Iowa.

“Strong collaboration between our state, the White House, and the renewable fuels industry will continue to benefit Iowa’s ag economy.”

Iowa Lt. Governor Adam Gregg

“The ethanol and renewable fuels industry is an incredible catalyst for rural growth and prosperity, and today’s action is a step in the right direction. I am proud of what Governor Reynolds has done as an advocate for renewable fuels, and I am grateful to the President and his Administration for its leadership on this important issue”.

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer for Nebraska

“EPA finalizing the year-round sale of E-15 is a win for Nebraska and rural America. For years I’ve fought for a solution like this for our farmers and ethanol producers. I want to thank President Trump for following through with his commitment on this issue, and I look forward to seeing the positive results of year-round E-15 sales.”

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska 

“This is a common-sense rule change, and a good move that benefits Nebraska. The EPA’s old rule tied the hands of our ethanol producers with unnecessary red tape. This is great news that helps hard-working corn growers and Nebraskans at the pump.”

U.S. Representative Adrian Smith of Nebraska of Nebraska’s 3rd District

“In 2018, Nebraska reached its all-time high in ethanol–blended fuel consumption. Since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was enacted in 2005, Nebraska has broken its record for ethanol–blended fuel consumption nine times.

“According to the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the 25 ethanol plants in Nebraska account for $5 billion in economic impact and 1,300 jobs. Ethanol is not only good for Nebraska, but it also promotes American energy independence, creates jobs, stimulates economic development in communities across our nation, and provides an expanding domestic market for our corn growers.

“Any fuel approved by the EPA has to meet certain standards such as limits on Reid vapor pressure (RVP), which measures the volatility of the fuel. In 1978, a waiver allowing for the sale of E10 (a type of fuel where gasoline is blended with 10 percent ethanol) was put into place. While E15 usage is approved by the EPA, the waiver allowing year-round sale of E10 does not allow selling E15 from June 1 to September 15 each year, despite the fact E15 has a lower RVP than E10.

“The arbitrary ban on summer month sales of E15 costs consumers at the pump and the ethanol industry alike. Folks who choose E15 for their vehicles are forced to change their fuel of choice and producers are not able to sell a widely used blend for months at a time.

“Last year, after I spoke with President Trump and followed up multiple times with administration officials, the President implemented a decision to allow the year-round sale of E15 in accordance with legislation which I introduced last Congress. I have long been an advocate and a leading voice in Congress for the expansion of E15 sales, and was pleased the administration was taking action.

“As President Trump announced his intention to move forward in allowing E15 to be sold during the summer months, the EPA subsequently proposed a rule for year-round E-15 followed by a public comment period. In a White House announcement today, the President finalized this rule, making year-round E15 available in time for the summer driving season.

“This is a huge win for consumers, producers, those who support renewable fuels, and the state of Nebraska. I am thankful for the President’s diligent action in addressing this problem, and I will continue to look for ways to expand markets for ethanol.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

“Thank you to President Trump, Administrator Wheeler, and the EPA for delivering on their promise to approve E15 by the summer driving season.  Promises made, promises kept!” said Governor Ricketts.  “As the summer driving season kicks off, consumers now have the option to choose a fuel that’s cheaper for them and better for our state’s environment and economy.  Increased demand for ethanol will also be a boon to our state’s corn farmers during a time of low commodity prices.

“The Nebraska Ethanol Board commends the EPA for fulfilling the administration‘s promise to put out a rule before summer driving season that allows for the year-round, nationwide sale of E15,” said Sarah Caswell, the board’s administrator.  “This rule change, in concert with complementary policies and regulations that help incentivize infrastructure investments, is a vital step forward for the increased demand and use of higher blends of ethanol throughout the country.  In a favorable regulatory environment, we are confident that the new rule will lead to greater demand for Nebraska ethanol, which in turn will benefit the nation’s economy, environment, and public health.  It will also help our farmers, producers, and retailers.  This is a day to celebrate!”

U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota

“When President Trump committed to working toward the implementation of year-round E15 sales, South Dakota farmers were listening,” said Thune. “I’ve spent nearly my entire time in the Senate advocating for this policy change, and I’m glad we have an administration that is willing to see it through. Consumers will for the first time during a summer driving season have greater choice for a lower-cost, cleaner fuel. While there’s no doubt this will reinforce our energy independence and be well-received by producers in the Midwest and Great Plains, there is more that can and should be done to further strengthen renewable fuels and the broader agriculture economy, and it’s something I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress and with the administration to achieve.”

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson of South Dakota

“Consumers should have the freedom to put what they want in their gas tanks, and I’m thankful President Trump and the EPA are rolling back arbitrary regulations standing in the way of year-round E15 sales. Year-round E15 will give consumers the freedom to choose a more affordable option at the pump, while promoting cleaner fuel options. This is a win-win for consumers, farmers and clean air in South Dakota”

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

“To stabilize the ag economy, we need to expand market access. This announcement is a step in the right direction,” said Governor Noem. “South Dakota is a national leader in ethanol production, and this move by the EPA will remove unnecessary federal regulations and present further market opportunities for producers, bringing benefits directly to our famers and local economies, easing the impact of high gas prices on our pocketbooks, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. President Trump and I have had many conversations about the expansion of E15, and I’m grateful that his administration is further opening access to our homegrown fuels.”

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