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Reynolds Believes Trump Is Still Committed To Ethanol Deal

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John Pemble/IPR file
Gov. Reynolds says the focus is on the EPA to make sure it follows the deal President Trump announced to ensure 15 billion gallons of ethanol is blended into gasoline in the next year.

Gov. Kim Reynolds is standing by a deal reached with President Donald Trump to address farm state lawmakers’ concerns over ethanol policy.

Earlier this month the Trump administration agreed to increase the ethanol mandate to make up for exemptions granted to small oil refineries. The EPA’s subsequent proposal was panned by industry groups who said it fails to account for the total amount of ethanol exempted by the agency.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the EPA’s plan was vetted by the White House regulatory office which signed off on the proposal despite objections from the Department of Agriculture. The USDA said the plan fell short of ensuring 15 billion gallons of ethanol would be blended into the fuel supply.

Reynolds said the deal reached with Trump was designed to reach the 15 billion gallon benchmark.

“He told us that we had a deal,” Reynolds said. “Ultimately that’s part of his cabinet but we’re also going to continue to put pressure on EPA because right now they’re the ones doing the rulemaking. We’re working with industry and that’s the way that we’ll be able to hold them accountable.”

So far the EPA is not backing down from its proposed rule which would increase blending requirements based on recommended waivers for small refineries. Renewable fuel advocates say that’s an inaccurate standard because the agency often goes beyond what is recommended by the Department of Energy. The EPA is taking public comment and will hold a hearing in Michigan on October 30.