Ethanol plants and farmers impacted by waivers

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Since President Trump has taken office, he’s approved 85 waivers for refineries, affecting corn distribution for farmers in Siouxland.

Now additional exemptions are causing an Iowa ethanol plant and farmers to speak out.

Doug Nelson is one of many Iowa farmers that depend on ethanol plants around Siouxland to purchase his corn crops.

“Were in a situation right now where the profitability in farming in ethanol is not very good,” said Nelson.

Earlier this month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency granted waivers to 31 oil refiners, exempting the legal requirement to blend ethanol and biodiesel into their fuel.

Nick Bowdish, the president of Siouxland Ethanol, explained how this decision affects local ethanol plants.

“He gave a free pass to the largest oil companies in this nation on 1.1 billion gallons of renewable fuels which represent almost 400 million bushels of corn. The impact of that is absolutely being felt all over the midwest,” said Bowdish.

Plymouth Energy in Merill Iowa has been temporarily shut down since July. POET, one of the nation’s largest ethanol companies also temporarily closed down it’s Cloverdale, Indiana location the following month.

Now area farmers are want to see action.

“There is still time for him to fix this and the simple step that he needs to take is telling Administrator Wheeler to reallocate all of these waive gallons,” said Bowdish.

Tuesday, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds also called out President Trump’s waiver decision saying she believes President Trump may not have understood the damage behind these waivers.

Iowa’s Senators have also spoken out against the administration’s ethanol waivers.

Senator Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst both said this action is a stab in the back to Iowa’s farmers.

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