To the Editor:
President Donald Trump recently announced that he may soon cut the red tape that has prevented gas stations from offering E15 fuel, with 15 percent ethanol, during the summer months. Rolling back this regulation will give consumers a cleaner, lower-cost option during road trip season. It also creates a valuable market for biofuels, making good on the President’s pledge to farm families.
The rural economy in America has been neglected for too long by lawmakers and farmers are dealing with a historic plunge in commodity prices. Thankfully, biofuels have been an economic anchor, supplying jobs to thousands of Midwest workers and creating a vital revenue stream for farmers, who sell the crops to local biofuel plants that transform it into ethanol.
Expanded sales of E15 is great news for Michigan, but it still faces a major hurdle in Washington, where the Environmental Protection Agency has been working quietly with the oil lobby to undermine biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
There is little hope for rural growth if farmers are excluded from the energy sector. I urge U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to make good on President Trump’s plan to lift outdated rules against E15 by pressing for a fix before it’s too late. If not, expect to see one less affordable option at the pump this June.
Gordon Valley Farms