Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators say they’ve been reassured that the Trump Administration will back the federal ethanol production mandate. On Thursday, Senator Joni Ernst met with Scott Pruitt, the state attorney general from oil-rich Oklahoma. Trump has nominated Pruitt to serve as director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Renewable Fuels Standard is the annual mandate for U.S. ethanol production and the figure is set each year by the E-P-A Administrator. Ernst says Pruitt told her he would follow the law.
Pruitt expressed an interest in visiting one of Iowa’s ethanol plants, according to Ernst.
Pruitt met later in the day with Ernst and other Midwest senators — in Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s office. Grassley says he organized the meeting to convey the “importance of biofuels” to Iowa and to the economy and Grassley says Pruitt provided “a very positive response” about the Renewable Fuels Standard. Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of corn-based ethanol fuel. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the 43 ethanol refineries in the state are capable of producing more than four billion gallons of ethanol each year.