Transcript: President Trump and Senator Ernst in Cedar Rapids 8/18/2020

President Trump in Cedar Rapids


Provided by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

During his briefing on the derecho storm impacts in Iowa, President Trump heard about the need for growing and reliable markets for farmers from the proper implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Below is a transcript of his exchange with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst: “One thing that would be helpful, of course, with the impact to the ag economy, the loss of so many crops, is our farmers would love to know that with these gap year waivers that the oil refineries are submitting to the EPA, that we just dispense of those. We not allow them to move forward. Some of these waivers would apply to years, nine years ago, eight years ago. Our farmers just really need some help this year obviously with the crop damage, and that would be a great step forward…[cross talk]”

President Donald J. Trump: “So I approved the ethanol and we did the whole thing with the 12 months* and all of the others. Let me ask you, how is ethanol doing with the markets? It’s got to be a little bit tough, right?”

Ernst: “It is. It’s very tough right now. And through COVID we saw a decrease in driving. And so the sales of ethanol have not been up where they should be. And we’ve seen that all across the industry, the impact. And now after the crop damage, it just sets our farmers even farther back.”

Trump: “But they’ll be ready when the market comes back? They’ll be ready like never before.”

Ernst: “Yes, they will. And what we need, just help from the EPA to follow the intent of the law with the Renewable Fuels Standard.”

Trump: “Alright. We’ll speak to them. I’ll speak to them myself. I’ll do it myself.”

* Note: this is in reference to Trump’s approval of year-round sales for E15, which was a major victory for biofuels producers and retailers.