More than 100 community, business, and farm leaders across the Midwest today sent a letter to President Trump applauding the administration’s commitment to year-round sales of E15, a lower-cost fuel containing 15 percent ethanol. Currently, many retailers are unable to offer E15 during the summer months due to outdated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, which limit demand for renewable energy from U.S. crops.

“We write to thank you for announcing that a fix is now underway, and we offer our full support in this administration’s efforts to reinvigorate economic growth in America’s heartland by expanding markets for grain-based biofuels, like ethanol,” wrote rural leaders.

“Allowing year-round sales of higher ethanol blends like E15 will help to hold down fuel prices, strengthen U.S. energy security, and restore growth in hard-pressed rural communities,” they added.

The letter also calls on the EPA to act swiftly in carrying out the president’s directive on E15, something supporters want to see happen before the June 1 start of the next summer driving season. Advocates offered the letter in a show of support for an ongoing campaign organized by Growth Energy, America’s leading trade association of biofuel producers and supporters. The group’s E15 Now campaign bus has made stops across the Midwest, thanking elected officials who have led the charge to secure better options at the pump all year long.

“The president’s announcement is great news for farmers, biofuel workers, retailers and consumers everywhere who want to enjoy cleaner, more affordable options at the fuel pump,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Over the last few months alone, we’ve heard from countless farmers who rallied behind Growth Energy’s E15 Now campaign because they cannot afford to be locked out of this key market for another season. We’re deeply grateful to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, our rural champions in Congress, and governors across the Midwest for working with the president and pressing the EPA to tear down outdated regulatory barriers against competition.”

Intended to reduce evaporative emissions, the current EPA guidelines were drafted before E15 hit the market, resulting in outdated restrictions that hold E15 to higher standards than less eco-friendly options that are offered all year long. Those limits threaten growth opportunities for farm crops amid the sharpest agricultural downturn in decades.

Read the letter to President Trump here.

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