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SD senators applaud ethanol decision

South Dakota's two U.S. senators said they are pleased with the news that President Donald Trump's administration will initiate the process to make 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel -- commonly known as E15 -- available year-round.

U.S. Sen. John Thune, right, delivers remarks while U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, left, listens during a panel called "Check-in From Washington, DC" during Dakotafest in August in Mitchell.(Matt Gade/Republic)
U.S. Sen. John Thune, right, delivers remarks while U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, left, listens during a panel called "Check-in From Washington, D.C." during Dakotafest in 2016 in Mitchell.(Matt Gade/Republic)

South Dakota's two U.S. senators said they are pleased with the news that President Donald Trump's administration will initiate the process to make 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel - commonly known as E15 - available year-round.

Republicans John Thune and Mike Rounds each said that the change would benefit South Dakota farmers and consumers. Previously, the blend was not allowed between June 1 and Sept. 15, prohibiting the sale of the fuel during the primary months for summer travel.

"After spending more than a decade advocating for higher blends of ethanol, I want to thank President Trump for upholding his commitment to America's farmers," Thune said in a statement. "Using homegrown resources like ethanol to keep America's economy moving forward is a common-sense, true win-win solution."

Both senators made note that they had lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency through both letters and in person visits that the rule should be changed. Thune said the issue has come up in multiple meetings he's had with the president.

"South Dakota is a leading state in corn ethanol production," Rounds said in a release. "As the market for ethanol increases, the market for corn will grow, resulting in more jobs and increased revenue for South Dakota's corn farmers. At a time when farmers are already struggling due to a decrease in farm income and trade uncertainty, providing year-round sales of E-15 is an opportunity to give our farmers a much-needed boost."

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The South Dakota Corn Growers Association also praised the announcement, saying the president's plan is a "big win for farmers and rural America."

"Allowing higher blends of ethanol to be sold year-round also will provide consumers with more choices at the pump," said Troy Knecht, of Houghton, SDCGA president. "South Dakota farmers have advocated for year-round sales and we're grateful the end of this outdated regulation is near."

Related Topics: JOHN THUNEMIKE ROUNDS
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