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I voted for President Donald Trump with hope that he would protect the interests of farmers across the country. And he has.

The administration and Environmental Protection Agency kept their promise to farmers when they lifted the seasonal ban on E15, a gasoline blended with 15% ethanol.

Like thousands of Wisconsin farmers, my family’s success depends on the competitiveness of the market. We were encouraged when it was announced that E15 was going to be sold year-round. But the small refinery exemptions being distributed by the EPA undermine that progress. These waivers excuse oil companies from following federal fuel standards. Exemptions are supposed to be reserved for small refineries facing hardship, but the EPA has been giving them to massive corporations like Exxon.

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This policy doesn’t just hurt farmers, but our entire economy. Ethanol production in Wisconsin creates $4.2 billion in economic activity, contributes $982 million in wages and supports more than 19,000 jobs.

Ethanol production is vital to Wisconsin because of how central it is to our agriculture industry. President Trump promised to support rural businesses, but these refinery waivers harm the very people he vowed to help. It’s time for government to protect our communities over multi-billion dollar companies.

Keith Ripp, Lodi

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