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Ethanol has 'strong base of support' from Trump, Congress: RFA president

San Diego β€” President Donald Trump supports the ethanol industry, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen reassured the audience during his opening remarks Tuesday at the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego.

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Some critics have worried about the ties between Trump, his Cabinet and advisers and the oil industry.

"Not only do we have a strong base of support throughout the Congress, but we have a resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who understands the value of ethanol and who is committed to an America First energy policy," Dinneen said.

Scott Pruitt, recently confirmed head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has in the past criticized the agency's regulations, including calling the Renewable Fuel Standard "unworkable." In his confirmation hearing, however, he struck a more supportive tone, saying he would enforce the mandate as written and use waiver authority "judiciously."

Related: Find more content about Trump's administration in our news and analysis feature.

Dinneen said people worried that Pruitt would weaken the RFS had their anxiety "relieved throughout the confirmation process when Mr. Pruitt repeatedly affirmed his commitment to uphold the law as Congress had written it."

He continued by saying that Trump's strongest base of support in the election came from farm country.

"Indeed, 93% of the ethanol produced last year was produced in a county voting for Trump, and 91% of the corn grown last year was from Trump country," he said.

Trump spoke on the campaign trail in support of ethanol, including saying he would "encourage regulators to end restrictions that keep higher blends of ethanol and biofuel from being sold."

With that in mind, Dinneen said Trump's administration would support ethanol not only domestically, but also internationally by working to improve trade agreements that encourage ethanol exports.

--Josh Pedrick,

--Edited by Jason Lindquist,