THIS WEEK IN DC
Corn growers and ethanol producers have their fingers crossed as President Donald Trump goes to Iowa on Tuesday amid expectations that the EPA could announce a long-awaited decision to allow year-around use of E15.
It was still unclear heading into the weekend whether the EPA would make a simultaneous move to address refiners’ concerns about prices for biofuel credits, or Renewable Identification Numbers.
Trump has scheduled a campaign rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the home district of GOP Rep. David Young, one of two Iowa Republicans who are struggling to win re-election and could benefit from the E15 action.
The ethanol industry has been pressuring Trump and the EPA for months to approve the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver needed to permit the sale of E15 in summer months.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said President Trump led her to believe during a Rose Garden ceremony last week that the E15 announcement was forthcoming. “The president has said many times over that he wants to see E15 year-round," she said.
But the refining industry continues its campaign of counter-pressure on the White House. A bipartisan group of 20 senators led by Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., sent a letter to Trump on Thursday that called the E15 waiver “a one-sided approach” that would “do nothing to address the policies impacting refinery jobs,” harm engines and power equipment and “risk worsening air quality.”
Tuesday also is an historic day at the Supreme Court, where the newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, will sit in on his first oral arguments since being sworn in Saturday after he was confirmed by the Senate, 50-48.
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