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President Donald Trump talks about making way for year-round E15 during his rally in Council Bluffs.
Kelsey Kremer, kkremer@dmreg.com

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. — President Donald Trump, stumping for Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday, said her Democratic challenger and Democrats, generally, would kill ethanol.

“The Dems will end ethanol; you know that — they’re not going to approve ethanol,” Trump said. “They will take it away.”

“You better get out there and vote for Republicans,” the president said in Iowa.

More: Complete coverage of President Donald Trump’s visit to Iowa

In Iowa, Democrats have been as supportive of the biofuel as Republicans. Some in both parties, nationally, have raised doubts about past ethanol subsidies and the long-term utility of the gasoline blend.

Democratic candidate for Iowa governor Fred Hubbell, whom Trump specifically highlighted as a potential ethanol-killer, said the president’s claim is demonstratively false.

Hubbell said Tuesday he’s long supported the year-round sale of ethanol blended with 15 percent ethanol, which Trump’s administration just announced would be approved soon.

“Increasing demand for ethanol by opening the summer window for E15 would help Iowa’s corn producers, agricultural economy and make cleaner air,” Hubbell said.

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said ethanol and biodiesel have received bipartisan support in Iowa.

It’s something his group acknowledged in the association’s news release Tuesday, and it’s reflected in the group’s political action committee’s donations.

“We’re happy that we have bipartisan support for renewable fuels policy at the federal level,” Shaw said. “Our actions speak for themselves.”

“Today was a big day — something we’ve worked on for seven years,” Shaw said. “I’m going to go get a bottle of champagne. … The oil industry will come up with something else tomorrow, but today was a big step.”

Reporter Robin Opsahl contributed to this report.

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