Ethanol industry hopeful as Biden heads to Iowa

By Robin Bravender | 04/11/2022 04:20 PM EDT

In this July 20, 2013, file photo, an ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa.

An ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa, in 2013. Charlie Riedel, File/AP Photo

Ethanol backers are optimistic as President Joe Biden travels to Iowa tomorrow to discuss the administration’s efforts to lower gas prices.

Biden is scheduled to visit the small town of Menlo, about 45 miles west of Des Moines, in his first trip back to the Hawkeye State since his presidential inauguration.

His visit comes as the ethanol industry is pressuring the administration to promote the use of ethanol as a tool to combat soaring gas prices. According to the White House, part of his agenda will include discussing the administration’s actions to “reduce the impact of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s Price Hike.”

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In the wake of Biden’s ban on Russian oil imports, ethanol industry representatives and farm state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have urged the administration to look to biofuels to ease gasoline costs.

“We are very excited for President Biden’s return to Iowa and look forward to hearing more about the administration’s vision for the future of low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol,” Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said today in a statement. Cooper will be traveling to Iowa to attend tomorrow’s event with Biden, said RFA spokesman Ken Colombini.

“As American families are facing record high gas prices, it is our hope that President Biden uses this opportunity to outline a strategy for quickly expanding the use of lower-cost ethanol blends like E15,” Cooper said.

Ethanol advocates have been pushing Biden to lift seasonal restrictions on the sale of fuel that’s 15 percent ethanol, higher than the 10 percent blend now sold in most gas stations (E&E Daily, April 6).

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