NATIONAL (WCIA) — Tuesday, President Trump vowed to deliver a campaign promise to farmers.
His administration is planning to lift restrictions on high ethanol sales; a move he says will boost corn prices and help the environment. It’s a bittersweet harvest season for Illinois farmers.
Weather is good, yield is up but corn prices are still down with no end in sight for the trade war with China. Still, the show must go on.
“You have to be an optimist to farm. You plant your seeds and you say your prayers and you do everything you can to eliminate those variables, but you really rely on things beyond your control.”
Like, for instance, what happens at the pump. For years, high ethanol- or corn-based fuel has been banned at the pumps during the summer. Tuesday, President Trump ordered the EPA to toss the rules, allowing ethanol 15 to be sold year round.
“No doubt farmers will be excited about this because it’s an expansion of the market.”
Farmers, like Len Corzine, hope the president’s new tactic brings money back to their bottom line. Corzine says consumers will win too.
“We’re supplying a better product to the consumer at the end of the day.”
He calculates about a nickel less a gallon tha your standard fuel, but some say that’s up for debate. The EPA banned E-15 in the summer because they say it makes smog worse and oil companies have lobbied hard arguing E-15 is bad for vehicles. Corzine says those facts don’t hold up.
“You understand where the petroleum guys are coming from ’cause I was told, long ago, they will fight to the death for 1% of their market share.”
Because it’s winter, consumers and farmers won’t see price differences anytime soon. But, he believes the added option is a small win in a time of uncertainty.
“Me, being a fifth generation farmer and my son being here on the farm, we’re in it for the long term.”
Some argue E-15 is bad for air quality and the environment. A spokesperson from the Illinois Lung Association says the claim is false. They believe E-15 is a cleaner option which is better for the environment.
President Trump is expected to make a formal announcement at a rally in Iowa this evening.