Corn farmers are cheering President Donald Trump's decision to reverse a move that harmed the ethanol industry, which came after weeks of lobbying amid plant shutdowns and worker layoffs.
As The New York Times noted, the Trump administration unveiled its new set of rules that will boost the amount of ethanol being pumped into the U.S. fuel supply to more than 15 billion gallons annually beginning next year. Farmers in the Corn Belt are welcoming the updated rules after a tough season brought down by weather issues.
"It's exactly what we wanted," Iowa corn and soybean farmer Daryl Haack told the Times.
The updated EPA rules came after the administration took action over the summer to limit the amount of ethanol used in fuel by way of exempting more refineries from having to put the biofuel into its gasoline. That made oil companies happy, but the ethanol industry took a hit. Plants shut down and workers were let go in several small towns.
Following weeks of lobbying by stakeholders in the corn industry, the decision was reversed. Roughly 40% of the U.S. corn crop is used for ethanol production, the Times reported.
"The president and his advisers recognized that they had a political problem and quickly sought to put the genie back in the bottle," Renewable Fuels Association president Geoff Cooper told the Times. "To hear that level of frustration and anger and angst from part of the base that had been supportive of this president really did get his attention."
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