Noem joins chorus critical of final EPA ethanol rule

December 19, 2019 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem said Thursday she has asked President Donald Trump to make good on promises to the ethanol industry.

Noem, a Republican, told reporters she contacted the White House after the Environmental Protection Agency released its final renewable fuel standard. The agreement, which regulates how many gallons of ethanol will be added to the nation’s gasoline supply, did not include language that Trump agreed to during meetings with industry officials and congressional members in September and October.

That language called for adding ethanol gallons back into the nation’s gasoline supply to make up for exemptions that let some oil refineries avoid using it.

“We’re going to make sure that the president is keeping his word and the EPA is following it,” Noem said.

Roughly 40% of corn grown in the U.S. goes to ethanol refineries. The EPA rule may reduce demand for corn and the ethanol produced from it by allowing oil refineries to get exemptions from having to use ethanol.

The EPA’s 85 exemptions of oil refineries for the 2016-2018 compliance years undercuts the renewable fuel volume by a total of 4 billion gallons, (15.1 billion liters) according to the Renewable Fuels Association.