Remarks by President Trump on Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy Council Bluffs Southwest Iowa June 11 3:53 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Iowa. We love Iowa. Thank you very much. And I want to thank Senator Ernst for the introduction. Her - the job she's done and the great leadership she's displayed. And I want to tell you she worked very hard on ethanol, along with Senator Grassley, and Kim, and everybody else. And I want to thank you all. Thank you, Governor. I appreciate it.
I'm truly delighted - (applause) - they worked hard. I'm truly delighted to be here with the incredible farmers, growers, and workers who power our country, feed our nation, and preserve the American way of life. And that's what you do.
Today, we honor America's cherished farming heritage. We salute your commitment to American energy independence, and we celebrate the bright future that we are forging together powered by clean, affordable American ethanol. Congratulations. Congratulations. (Applause.)
You know, I fought very hard for ethanol, but you proved me right. Thank you. Please, sit down. Sit down. Otherwise, they'll say I got no standing ovations. (Laughter.) Appreciate it.
We're grateful to be joined by our tremendously talented - loves this business - Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Thank you, Sonny. Thank you. (Applause.) And EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Andrew, thank you very much. Great job you're doing, both of you. (Applause.)
Thanks as well to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Thank you, Kim. (Applause.) Great job. She ran a great race.
And a great friend of mine also: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. Pete, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Pete.
And another tremendous person, tremendous woman - a winner; somebody that helps us all so much: Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. (Applause.) Deb Fischer. Thank you, Deb.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. Thank you, Mike. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Mike. Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Steve Wellman. Steve, thank you. (Applause.) The Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, Jean Stothert. (Applause.) Thank you, Jean.
We had a big fight in Omaha and we won that one pretty easily. A certain person was spending a lot of money against us. That didn't work out so well for him.
And many other state and local leaders. I want to thank you all for being here. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
I also want to thank the CEO of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, Mike Jerke. And I will tell you, I met mike a long time ago, and I said, "Let's do this." And other candidates all said, "Nope, we're not going to support ethanol." And I did. Is that a correct statement? And look what you've built, Mike. Great job.
But thank you very much for hosting us today, along with two other great energy leaders, President of Renewable Fuels Association Geoff Cooper and CEO of Growth Energy Emily Skor. Thank you all very much. Thank you, Emily. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.
We came here and talked ethanol, and people didn't believe in us, right? And now it's a big beauty. And E15 sounds very good, doesn't it? Who knows, maybe it's going to go up. Maybe it's going to go up. (Applause.)
Right here at this impressive facility, the rich harvest of American soil is turned into fuel that powers American cars and industries. Farmers from across the region send in more than 120,000 bushels of corn to produce 365,000 gallons of pure American ethanol every single day. I just got a little run-through back there. It's very impressive. That's a long way from our first conversation, isn't it? It's a long way. You've come a long way. So have I; I became President - (applause) - would you think. (Laughs.)
Under the previous administration, our leaders rejected American energy and they rejected ethanol. They imposed radical restrictions on our farmers and ethanol producers. And they refused to even allow talk of E15 during the busiest driving months of the year. And as you know, we took it from 8 months to 12 beautiful months. That's another big factor. (Applause.) All year long.
And how ridiculous was that? How ridiculous was that? But we took it all year long, not the very shortened year. And nobody could explain to me why. Not one person was able to explain why they cut it off. Just one of those things. But we ended it.
As a candidate for President, I pledged to support our ethanol industry and to fight for the American farmer like no President has ever fought before. And we're winning these fights. And you're great patriots, I will tell you. We're winning these fights. (Applause.)
You know, for 15 years - before the election of 2016 - farmers and farm pricing and a lot of things were going in this direction. You have to see the charts. They weren't pretty. And in a very short period of time - we're still working on China. Japan is going to be a big buyer very shortly. They told me the other day, "We're going to be buying a lot of - a lot of product from your famers." And a lot of other places you see them coming in and they're starting to come in very big - very, very big.
Mexico, you see what happened over the last two days. And Mexico is going to be a lot of buying. A lot of buying. (Applause.)
Within a year and a half, I would say you'll be in the best position that you've been in in 15 years as farmers. And you deserve it. You deserve it.
Last year, I came right here to Iowa and announced that my administration would open up the sale of E15 all year around. And now I've come back to announce that, just days ago, we officially lifted the restrictions - you hear that, Joni, Deb, Pete? You hear that, Kim? A few days ago, we lifted - (applause) - right? We lifted the restrictions on E15 just in time to fuel America's summer vacations. We just made it. (Applause.) We just made it. (Applause.)
That's a nice group behind me. I don't know. Their seats are no good, but they're going to become very famous tomorrow. (Applause.) We'll make their seat very good. They're happy. They're happy because of what we've done and because of how well our country is doing and our economy is doing.
As a result of our action, E15 sales are projected to more than double this year. Think of that. More than double. Do you agree with that? More than double. (Applause.) More American ethanol production also means less dependence on foreign suppliers. By fully embracing E15 - (applause) - we will reduce dependence on foreign oil by up to 250 million additional barrels every single year. I mean - (applause) - quite simply, it means more energy. And what can be wrong with that? And it's very good energy.
That means our farmers are not only promoting our prosperity; you are protecting our security as a nation. (Applause.)
America must never again be held hostage to foreign suppliers of energy as we were under the Obama-Biden - Sleepy Joe - group. Sleepy Joe. (Applause.) He was someplace in Iowa today, and he said my name so many times that people couldn't stand it anymore. "No, don't keep saying it." Sleepy guy.
With the help of energy grown and produced at home, we've increased annual ethanol exports by 550 million gallons. Last year, we exported a record-breaking 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol - that's a big number - and, separately, the United States is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere on the planet. We're the biggest in the world in energy production. And now, ethanol is playing a bigger and bigger part. So, congratulations. (Applause.)
And this isn't political season quite for me. It'll start next week. But just remember the Democrats were totally opposed to this, folks. They didn't have a clue.
After decades of being held down and held back, we are now a net exporter of energy to the world with a tremendous increase of jobs in the energy industry. We are securing our nation's future through American energy independence and American energy dominance. And that's what it is. It's become dominant.
At the same time, the fuel you produce brings down prices at the pump for millions of American drivers. Those savings go straight into the pockets of hardworking families all across our land.
Here with us today are several Americans at the center of our nation's energy revolution who want to share why ethanol is so important to them.
Kevin Ross is a sixth-generation farmer from the nearby town of Minden. Kevin, please come up and share your story. Kevin. (Applause.)
MR. ROSS: Thank you. Welcome, Mr. President, to the great state of Iowa. Governor Reynolds, Governor Ricketts, Senator Ernst, Senator Fischer, Administrator Wheeler, and Secretary Perdue: Thank you all for being here. It's my privilege to host you near my home and represent farmers all across the Midwest today.
I'm Kevin Ross, a sixth-generation farmer and first Vice President of the National Corn Growers Association. My wife Sarah and I grow corn, soybeans, hay, cattle, and are raising our four boys: Hudson, Axten, Carver, and Hollis. Also in this large crowd are family and a few hundred friends and neighbors.
We farm just 20 miles up the road near Underwood, in Minden. But we are steps away from land that my great- grandfather cleared on this very Missouri River bottom.