Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report

Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE is reportedly looking at making a trip to Iowa to visit an ethanol refinery in the coming weeks as his administration considers lifting restrictions on the sale of ethanol-infused gasoline.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Trump's visit could signal his administration's support for allowing the year-round sale of E15 gasoline, which contains 15 percent ethanol.

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Turkish media paints White House visit as Erdoğan triumph over Trump Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators at White House MORE (R-Iowa) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBooker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-Iowa) would be expected to join the president, as would Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R).


The White House and Grassley's office declined to comment to The Hill on the possible visit.

A spokeswoman for Ernst said the senator spoke last week with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerHouse committee hits EPA with subpoenas Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies MORE and feels confident the new E15 rule will be in place by the summer driving season.

Trump last fall directed the EPA to lift the current policy that prohibits E15 during the summer months, a restriction that was in place because of air pollution concerns. The current summer limit is 10 percent ethanol.

The president earlier this year rolled out a plan that would allow the year-round sale of  E15.

Trump's move was celebrated in Iowa, where the economy depends heavily on corn ethanol and on federal ethanol regulations. But senators in states that depend on oil production have opposed the decision, arguing it's illegal and would hurt the fuel refining industry.

Should Trump further lift restrictions on E15, it would likely boost farmers in the Midwest who are taking the brunt of the president's trade war with China. 

Beijing earlier this month announced retaliatory measures for the Trump administration raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The duties from China will target beef, honey, rice, corn, wheat flour, spinach, peas, beans, lentils, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and other agricultural products grown in the U.S.

Trump last week announced his administration will provide $15 billion in assistance to farmers affected by the trade war and has praised them as "Patriot Farmers" for waiting out the dispute.