By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (DTN) — Iowa’s ethanol industry and officials are pushing back on EPA’s small-refinery waivers with demands for multiple federal investigations and demanding EPA follow court rulings.
Two months ago, Mike Jerke was standing next to President Donald Trump at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy as the president championed year-round E15. On Wednesday, Jerke, CEO of the 130-million-gallon ethanol plant, was standing next to a congresswoman calling for a federal investigation into EPA’s 31 new small-refinery waivers. Trump had promised to preserve and protect the Renewable Fuels Standard, Jerke said.
On Tuesday, EPA stated to Reuters there “is zero evidence” that granting small-refinery exemptions “has had any negative impact on domestic corn ethanol producers,” Reuters reported, quoting an email from an EPA spokesman.
Jerke said EPA’s 31 waivers would translate into 300 million bushels of lost corn demand. He added that the EPA’s unchecked use of small-refinery waivers “guts the RFS and breaks the president’s promise.”