Trump reiterates support for year-round E15 sales at Iowa event

By Erin Voegele | July 26, 2018

President Trump indicated his administration is “very close” to implementing a Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver allowing for year-round sales of E15 at an event in Dubuque, Iowa, July 26.

Trump was in Iowa to participate in a roundtable discussion on workforce development. During the event, he said “I am very close, I have to tell you, to pulling off something that you’ve been looking forward to for many years,” he said. “And that’s the 12-month E15 waiver. We’re getting very close to doing that. It’s a very complex process, and I stuck with ethanol when most other candidates weren’t there.”

“We’re taking care of your ethanol, ok,” he said later in the roundtable discussion. “Nobody else was going to, believe me.” He also noted that Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, have been pushing him “very, very strong on the ethanol, and we’ve been with them all the way.”

Following Trumps remarks, several members of the ethanol industry have spoken out in support of his comments on E15.

“We are encouraged President Trump once again has expressed support for removing antiquated regulatory barriers to the year-round use of E15,” said Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “More importantly, he did so today outside the context of some kind of ‘deal’ to help refiners. Refiners are doing quite fine today, seeing record profits and unprecedented exports. Farmers are not. Farmers are suffering from unfair trade barriers and chronically low commodity prices. Farmers need relief now in the form of increased market opportunities. E15 year-round would do that. EPA should abandon efforts to tie consumer choice on ethanol to some kind of additional relief for refiners already benefiting from Scott Pruitt’s demand destruction campaign and initiate an E15 regulatory reform rule today.”

Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, also expressed hope that the U.S. EPA will move quickly to implement an RVP waiver for E15. "We are pleased to hear President Trump say he is 'very close' to making E15 available year round, fulfilling his promise to America’s farmers,” she said. “Increased access to U.S. markets will provide America’s farmers with some financial confidence, and we hope that President Trump will direct the EPA to act quickly to provide year-round RVP relief."

Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE, called on Trump to put his words into action. “ACE members are grateful President Trump has yet again reiterated he’ll allow E15 use year-round, but actions speak louder than words,” he said. “There’s a clear recognition of refinery wins in the form of so-called hardship waivers and collapsing RIN prices have caused real damage in rural America—it is time to carry out the repeated pledge to allow E15 to be sold year-round outside of a deal that would serve as another win for refiners.”

Grassley also released a statement following Trump’s roundtable discussion. “I’m also glad President Trump recognized the importance of biofuels like ethanol to jobs in Iowa and the Midwest,” he said. “His continued commitment to making higher blends of ethanol available in summer months needs to be followed up with action by his administration. I’ll be working to make sure that happens. Year-round E-15 would be an easy win for the administration and give a lifeline to many farmers and biofuels workers.”