Trump

President Donald Trump walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Washington.

The Trump administration is proposing to raise unrealistic requirements to blend biofuel into gasoline and diesel — all in an attempt to win the votes of Iowa-based ethanol producers. Does the president not realize that higher mandates would heap a massive cost burden on refiners in Louisiana and across the country and threaten good manufacturing jobs?

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The truth is, ethanol blending in the U.S. is already at historic highs, federal data shows this, and U.S. fuel infrastructure simply can’t handle gasoline containing a higher percentage of ethanol. Still, because ethanol producers are suffering from a decline in exports due to China’s oppressive trade practices, they are pushing the president to find any way possible to force more of their product on the U.S. market — regardless of infrastructure limitations or lacking demand from consumers for higher-ethanol blends.

Trying to force more biofuel on Americans than our system can handle won’t make things right with farmers or change China’s policies, which the White House is already addressing with $28 billion in agriculture sector support and by allowing year-round sales of E15 fuel. Higher mandates would only incentivize imported biodiesel, supporting foreign fuel producers, and lump excessive new compliance costs on Louisiana refineries that that support good-paying manufacturing jobs like mine.

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Matthew Blaesing

information technology manager

Covington