E-15 Deregulation is a Win For Trump Says Ethanol Leaders, Farmers

JOHNSTON, Iowa — For seven years the Iowa ethanol industry has clashed swords with the oil industry over a regulation that prohibits the sale of E-15 ethanol during the summer months.  President Trump is now ordering the EPA to eliminate that regulation. While that’s a massive step, it’s not quite a done deal.

“I want to see the ink dry in the federal register on this rule and then I’m going to go home and pop a cork out of a champagne bottle” said Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Monte Shaw.

Shaw says with this long of a fight, he wants things signed, sealed, and delivered before he starts celebrating.

“There is then a public comment period where I’m sure big oil will have a few. The EPA will work through those and make it a final rule” he said.

Despite the logistical steps left to go, Shaw believes that with the president’s blessing they will get it done before next summer. Shaw says without a doubt the move will increase demand, but it might take time to see the results.

“This could be seven billion gallons of additional demand, is that two years, five years, six years out?  I don’t know, it’s not going to be next year” said Shaw.

Some Iowa gas stations will need time to install either new E-15 pumps or new tanks to hold the E-15. Farmers say regardless of when that new demand hits, they’re happy to know it’s coming.

“We have been in some low times, but ethanol is what allowed me to come back as a farmer and it’s been tight, but we’re going to start using more of that” said Michael Fritch.

Fritch says politically, this is a win for the Trump Administration which campaigned in Iowa promising farmers that he would lift the regulation.

“You know I really think it’s going to be a positive thing, whether you voted for President Trump or not you gotta at least say he’s following his words” said Fritch.

Both Shaw and Fritch also expressed their gratitude to all of Iowa’s elected officials who pushed the president on this issue.