The oil-and-gas industry has also opposed the fuel standard, which they say calls for refiners to mix a blend of gasoline that consumers don’t want and cars can’t use.
Supporters of the program say that it is critical to moving the country away from foreign oil and spur development of alternative energy sources.
Welch added that he did not support a total repeal of the fuel standard, just the mandate for conventional corn-based ethanol.
Earlier this year, he and other lawmakers introduced legislation that would repeal some parts of the fuel standard, including the mandate for corn-based ethanol.
On Wednesday, he seemed hopeful that the momentum was on his side.
“The logic of it, I think the merits of it, favor, ultimately, a repeal of the mandate,” he said.