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Trump is responsible for U.S. ethanol crisis

To the Editor:

I’ve been a farmer all my life and seen many ups and downs in our farm economy throughout the years. When Donald Trump came to Minnesota in 2016, I was intrigued to hear him talk about ethanol’s economic potential and increasing our profits.

We were told the United States would make a larger push to increase domestic ethanol production. This could not have been further from the truth.

In 2016, farmers sold 5.6 billion bushels of corn to local ethanol plants to produce 15 billion gallons of fuel. With the increase in production 204 ethanol plants were built, creating 20,000 jobs in the process.

In 2019, President Trump made a deal with the oil companies to give them permission to stop blending ethanol with gasoline at some of their refineries.

Because of this betrayal, farmers lost 4 billion gallons of ethanol sales, 17 ethanol plants closed and thousands of jobs were lost – in 2019 alone.

It’s critical we have a leader in the White House who will go to bat for farmers, not one who takes away markets, jobs and profits.

Jim Nichols

Lake Benton

— Jim Nichols is a corn and soybean farmer and member of the Rural America 2020 Minnesota steering committee.

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