Ricketts addresses renewable fuel issues

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Through a year filled with one challenge after another, some Nebraska farmers and ranchers are starting to let frustrations known. One area of concern has been recent EPA waivers resulting in lower demands for renewable fuels.

Governor Pete Ricketts says the wants to make sure that Nebraska farmers continue to supply up to 15-billion gallons of the fuel additive supply. It's a topic he says they have worked to keep in the conversation with the Trump administration.

"We've had a number of conversations throughout the year with the president, the EPA and so forth," said Governor Ricketts. "We're working on continuing those conversations. I think the administration knows what we'd like to see. We're still working through to get to the answer we want to see."

Ricketts says he thinks farmers will be patient when it comes to tariffs on ag products to China. He says farmers are understanding that China is a big relationship that needs to be done right.

For signs of hope, Ricketts points to recent deals tripling the beef quota for sales to the European Union. He says Nebraska supplies 53% of U.S. beef sold to the EU.

He also said lower tariffs on beef sales to Japan will make Nebraska beef more competitive there with Australian beef.

Ricketts made his comments while appearing on the Local4 News at 11:30 on Thursday. He also said his administration will be working throughout the fall with the Revenue Committee of the Legislature to work on acceptable property tax plans before lawmakers return to session after the first of the year.

During the governor's appearance he also signed a proclamation officially declaring Thursday of Nebraska State Fair Day in the state, as a means of commemorating the event which is now in it's 150th year.