Iowa’s two U.S. senators will be at the White House this morning for a meeting with President Trump focused on ethanol and other biofuels.
Senator Chuck Grassley says he and Senator Joni Ernst will be in the room with other top players, including U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Grassley says Pruitt has broken several promises over biofuels. Grassley says, “The bottom line is that Administrator Pruitt is falling well short of President Trump’s 15-billion gallon political promise that he made to the people of Iowa and other states that produce ethanol.” Iowa is the nation’s number-one ethanol producer. Grassley criticizes various decisions Pruitt has made that benefit oil producers and hurt Midwestern farmers, for example, granting so-called “hardship waivers” to oil refiners.
“Pruitt is doing a disservice to the president, a disservice to the country,” Grassley says. “Homegrown biofuels help make our air cleaner, our economy stronger and our country more secure.” In a similar White House meeting earlier this year, Grassley said President Trump proclaimed he was committed to the year-round sale of the 15-percent blend of ethanol.
“Senator Ernst and I also plan on pressing the president to direct EPA to quickly implement the waiver that allows E-15 to be sold in the summer months as well as the other nine months of the year.” Grassley notes that as head of the EPA, Pruitt is authorized to make that happen, immediately, which would be a boost for Iowa ethanol producers. In this morning’s conference call with Grassley, Radio Iowa asked the senator if he might suggest to President Trump that Pruitt should be fired.
“We have had meetings at the White House, been briefed on what they were supposed to cover and find out they don’t exactly go the way we were told they were supposed to go,” Grassley says. “I guess I can’t comment on your question until I get into that environment.” The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:15 am/central time.