COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA — Ethanol advocates are overjoyed and supporters of President Donald Trump are energized after the President held a rally in Council Bluffs tonight.
The President was greeted by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts as he deplaned in Omaha to make the latest stop on a busy tour campaigning for Republican candidates in the lead-up to November’s midterm congressional elections. Trump shared the podium with Iowa Representative David Young and Governor Kim Reynolds who are each running for re-election.
He led with the topic that’s dominated headlines lately – the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“From the very first minute Brett Kavanaugh was nominated, radical Democrats were on a mission to resist, obstruct, delay, demolish, and destroy. They wanted to destroy that man, ’cause they wanted to destroy me too but that’s okay. (boos) Me, we understand. Him? How could you do that? They want to destroy everything. That’s all they’re good at. Resisting. Their whole campaign is ‘resist’. Ours is to create.”
He also touched on his administration’s new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
“We’ve also achieved another historic victory for Iowa farmers and ranchers by replacing the job-killing NAFTA with an incredible, brand new US-Mexico-Canada agreement, the USMCA. (cheers)”
The big announcement at the rally, though, is that the EPA is lifting the ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends. President Trump didn’t spend much time on the topic, but it was the big news farm groups were celebrating today.
The move allows year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Nebraska, Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel.
A senior administration official said the EPA will publish a rule in coming days to allow high-ethanol blends as part of a package of proposed changes to the ethanol mandate.
The change allows year-round sales of gas blends with up to 15 percent ethanol.
The EPA currently bans E15 during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days, a claim ethanol industry advocates say is unfounded.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, many from oil-producing states, sent Trump a letter last week opposing expanded sales of high-ethanol gas.