Trump expresses support for ethanol in Iowa

By Erin Voegele | June 22, 2017

President Donald Trump expressed his support for the ethanol industry during a trip to Iowa June 21, noting his administration wants to “protect the corn-based ethanol and biofuels that power our country.”

During an appearance at Kirkwood Community College, he said “we’re here today to talk about how we're going to empower America’s farmers and protect our nation’s proud farming legacy, including ethanol, which I've done. Family farmers are the backbone of America, and my administration will always support the farmer.”

“We want to eliminate the intrusive rules that undermine your ability to earn a living, and we will protect the corn-based ethanol and biofuels that power our country,” Trump said. “And you remember, during the campaign, I made that promise.”

Trump also discussed ethanol during a rally in Cedar Rapids. “We’re saving your ethanol industry in the state of Iowa just like I promised I would do in my campaign. And believe me, they are under siege,” he said.

“I said that I was going to protect your ethanol for good reason, only for good reason, and it was very important to me,” he noted. “I said that I was going to do things for the people of Iowa. And I want to let you know, I’ve done it for the people of Iowa, but I’ve really done it for the people of our country. Our country is getting stronger. It’s getting better. We’re going to be setting records in so many different ways.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association stressed Trump made plain his personal support for ethanol and biofuels during his appearances in Iowa. “He has not forgotten that it was farmers and rural Americans who propelled him to the White House,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA. “More importantly, President Trump understands the link between growing ethanol and biodiesel use and getting the rural economy humming again.”

“Now it is time for action. President Trump’s EPA needs to release the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2018,” Shaw continued. “That proposal needs to maintain ethanol levels at the statutory 15 billion gallons and should include a major boost in the biodiesel number to reflect reality in the marketplace. The Trump EPA needs to knock down the summertime barrier standing between consumers and lower-cost, higher-octane E15.  The Trump trade team needs to continue standing by the biodiesel industry in fighting against unfair and illegally subsidized imports that shut down US biodiesel plants. And President Trump and his new Ambassador to China, Iowa’s own Terry Branstad, must knock down the illegal barriers China has thrown up to keep out American ethanol and distillers grains.”

“In short, his administration needs to take these actions to breathe life into President Trump’s words to Iowans,” Shaw said. “The renewable fuels industry is straining against these barriers to expand – to expand production, to expand its use of American ag commodities, to expand American jobs, and to expand the rural American economy. It is time for the rubber to meet the road. Rural America is ready and willing, but waiting.”

The Renewable Fuels Association has also spoken out to applaud Trump’s comments. “We thank President Trump for continuing to support biofuels generally, and ethanol specifically,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA. “The president clearly understands the benefits of a healthy and robust ethanol industry, and recognizes the importance of both first-generation corn ethanol and emerging advanced biofuel technologies. President Trump knows that agriculture is the backbone of our economy and we look forward to his continued support for ethanol, the nation’s cleanest and highest-octane source of fuel.”