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Senators ask Biden administration to reverse latest ethanol waivers

#x201c;Iowans are demanding the new administration uphold the (Renewal Fuels Standards) and finalize the new proposed ru
“Iowans are demanding the new administration uphold the (Renewal Fuels Standards) and finalize the new proposed rule to grant more access to E15,” U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst says. Above, Ernst picks up a package of food for a family at the HACAP Mobile Food Pantry at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Aug. 14, after a derecho storm tore through parts of Iowa. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Iowa’s senators expressed their unhappiness with three ethanol waivers granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday, in the waning hours of the Trump administration.

“I’m disappointed that on his way out the door, EPA Administrator (Andrew) Wheeler decided to grant three more harmful, so-called small refinery exemptions,” Sen. Joni Ernst said in a statement.

“Iowans are demanding the new administration uphold the (Renewal Fuels Standards) and finalize the new proposed rule to grant more access to E15, and you better believe I’ll continue holding EPA’s feet to the fire to do that, just like I did under the Trump administration.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley said the “11th hour decision to grant these waivers illustrates the flawed process in the SRE (small refinery exemption) program and highlights the lack of transparency which has existed since the Obama Administration.”

A federal court on Thursday put a hold on the SREs that were given to the oil refineries, according to Greenwire, an energy news website run in connection with Politico.

First District U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson urged the Biden Administration to rescind the waivers.

“Granting small oil refinery exemption waivers at the last minute was a slap in the face to biofuel producers in Iowa,” Hinsons said in a statement Friday.

“The Biden administration should revoke these waivers immediately and ensure the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard is maintained going forward.”

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The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on Thursday reported a 12 percent decline in ethanol production for 2020, citing RFS exemptions under the Trump administration, among other factors.

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