Letter, 2/3: Time running out for year-round E-15

Source: By Ryan Bonham, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Monday, February 4, 2019

Ethanol production is a key economic driver for the Midwest. But access to the E-15 market, for fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol, is restricted during the busy summer driving season between June 1 and mid-September due to outdated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler have promised to fix these regulations, but, because of the government shutdown, time is running out to approve year-round E-15 in advance of this coming summer. Federal rule-making doesn’t happen overnight.

 Nebraska farmers are in dire straits, thanks to low commodity prices and harsh foreign tariffs. Access to the E-15 market is vital to farm families.

Promises are great, but farmers know better than to count their chickens before they hatch — especially when Washington politics is involved. We need action now.

 I urge Nebraska’s congressional delegation to make sure the EPA completes its rule-making before the summer driving season begins. Nebraska, especially rural Nebraska, is counting on it — and them.

Ryan Bonham, Franklin