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As Iowa’s ag community continues to battle through the challenges brought about by the COVID-19, farmers are facing self-imposed obstacles from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency’s constant backsliding on the Renewable Fuel Standard has hurt the biofuels sector and Iowa’s rural economy for far too long.

The EPA’s Small Refinery Exemptions program grants waivers to oil companies who wish to skirt around their renewable fuel blending requirements under the law. This has been a top priority from oil state elected leaders and lobbyists. They’ve become more aggressive under EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, who has granted them just about every favor they’ve requested. Unfortunately, we have seen oil companies bailed out during the economic downturn while biofuels companies have had to continue shutting down or idling.

It’s critical for our ag leaders to see continued leadership from Senator Ernst and Senator Grassley. I’m thankful they’ve held Wheeler’s feet to the fire on upholding the RFS and have continued advocating directly to President Trump for support. With the economy reeling from the pandemic, it’s time the administration can keep its promise to Iowans.

Dan Smicker,