Iowa Gov. Branstad shoots down rumored anti-ethanol backroom deal

By William Petroski, The Des Moines Register.

Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he is aware of reports of a backroom deal in the Washington, D.C., that would hurt Iowa's renewable fuels industry, but has been assured President Donald Trump's administration will support producers of ethanol and biodiesel fuels.

"I know the rumors and I can tell you who was involved, and I can tell you they are not true," Branstad told reporters Monday. He added that he has talked with his son, Eric Branstad, who works in the Trump administration, and that his son told him that "this is not going to happen."

The renewable fuels industry was in an uproar last week after a national advocacy group said a Trump official told the organization the president would sign an executive order shifting the burden for blending ethanol and biodiesel into the nation’s fuel supply from oil refiners to fuel retailers. The move, critics said, would hurt Iowa farmers and consumers by hindering the widespread use of ethanol and biodiesel. The White House subsequently distanced itself from the reports.