Perdue says Trump to act on ethanol waivers


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks at an Ag Policy Summit during a visit Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019 to Decatur, Ill. Perdue has sought to assuage farmers’ fears of financial problems after China halted purchases of U.S. farm products in an escalating trade war. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said President Donald Trump will take action to soften the effects of oil refinery exceptions for blending corn-based ethanol in motor fuel.

Perdue spoke to farmers and agribusiness leaders Wednesday in Decatur, Illinois. He says it was “disappointing” that Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency granted the waivers. They came after Trump allowed for year-round sales of 15% ethanol blend in fuel. That’s up from the more common 10% blend and a summertime ban on sales of the 15% fuel because of more smog produced by higher concentrations of ethanol.

Perdue would not say what action the Republican president will take but that Trump believes the EPA waivers were “way overdone.”

Ethanol advocates contend that oil refinery waivers have reduced ethanol production by 2.6 billion gallons since Trump took office.

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