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Grassley lauds rejection of gap-year waivers

IARN — Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is celebrating this week’s win for the ethanol industry.

As we previously reported, it was announced Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be rejecting 54 of the so-called “gap-year waivers.” These waivers would have allowed for exemptions in biofuel blending for past years. In a conference call with farm reporters Tuesday morning, Senator Grassley praised the rejection of the gap-year waivers.

“Something happened (Monday) that I thought wouldn’t happen before the election,” Grassley said. “When I was running around Iowa in August they said, ‘I bet you we’re never going to hear anything about these waivers until after the election and then we probably won’t get any victories.’ Well, there was a big, big surprise (Monday) because the president delivered a huge victory for farmers, and he did that by declining all gap-year waiver requests.”

Grassley thanked fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst for being “a steadfast advocate for our biofuels community.”

“It should be noted that every waiver request went through detailed review process by both EPA and the Department of Energy,” Grassley said. “Evidently, (Andrew) Wheeler was right when he said they had to consider them. I’m very proud to have partnered with Senator Ernst on this subject. Quite frankly, I can tell you she’s been a relentless advocate for the biofuels community.”

Monday’s decision only applies to the 54 previously mentioned waivers that have been decided on by the Department of Energy (DOE). This still leaves question marks surrounding the final fourteen waivers that make up the 68-total gap-year requests. There are also still 31 requests for 2020 exemptions still pending.

However, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw says he’s not concerned with the remaining fourteen waivers being analyzed by the DOE. He says if the EPA applies the same logic, it should be a non-issue. If they do not, it will be a legal nightmare.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo: Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley speaks during an online Iowa Farmers Union Q&A forum on 7-28-2020.

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