President Donald Trump announced plans to remove restrictions on selling Ethanol into the gasoline supply on Tuesday. The plan would permit E15, or 15 percent ethanol fuel bends to be sold year round instead of the status quo summer season restrictions. Currently, ethanol can be sold only eight months of the year. President Trump hopes the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a plan before the coming summer.
The plan’s unveiling was strategically announced in Iowa ahead of President Trump’s rally there. Iowa’s farmers support the plan because of the corn market’s importance in the state. Easing regulations on ethanol will drive up demand for corn-based ethanol, particularly in the summer when crop prices reach a low.
The plan also attempts to counter new agriculture product tariffs imposed against China and the EU.
The unveiled plan to pump up more ethanol has drawn criticism from none other than oil refining companies, who say the new policy will harm vehicle engines that are not compatible with the fuel.
To signal their disapproval, The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers, sent a letter to President Trump last week asking him to discontinue the plan unless the EPA topples its 2022 renewable fuel program.
There is also criticism from environmental groups such as TreeHugger.com who claim the policy is anti-green. However, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions by 14 percent over the past decade. In comparison, the rest of the world increased its carbon emissions by 21 percent during that same time frame.
The United States had the highest percentage of reductions during the Trump presidency. A policy enacted to raise markets can’t be so bad.