The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be in Iowa on Monday. Governor Kim Reynolds says acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler will visit the Iowa State Fair and meet with “a small group of commodity group” leaders as well as state officials.
“This is an opportunity for me again…to . encourage them to move forward with E15…year-round. We continue to advocate for that every time I get in front of the administration,” Reynolds says. “That would have an immediate impact on the price of corn.”
E15 is 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline.
Reynolds says she will press Wheeler on trade issues as well.
“We need to see some movement. We need to see either a bilateral done with Mexico, Canada, something done with NAFTA, some significant movement with the EU and then, you know, maybe bring our allies together and focus on China, but as we move into harvest season, it’s extremely important that we start to see something,” Reynolds says. “While we appreciate the $12 billion and it migitates some of the financial loss, our farmers do not want a handout. They want access to markets and that’s what we’re going to continue to advocate for.”
Wheeler replaced EPA chief Scott Pruitt a month ago. Pruitt resigned after a series of scandals and conflicts with corn-state senators like Joni Ernst, who called Pruitt “swampy” and accused him of favoring the oil industry over ethanol and biofuel producers.
Pruitt’s replacement is a lawyer who is a former congressional staffer and lobbyist for the coal industry. Iowa’s congressional delegation invited Wheeler to Iowa last month, shortly after he took the top job in the EPA.
(By George Bower, KICD, Spencer)