EPA Asks Court to Throw Out Biofuels Waiver, Gets Praise from Iowa Dems


IOWA - The Environmental Protection Agency is asking a federal court to throw out waivers allowing an oil company to avoid blending biofuels into its gasoline.

Iowa is a top producer of biofuels made with crops.

The EPA says it failed earlier under the Trump administration to find out if the waivers were allowed.

Three Iowa Democratic State Senators are praising the move as good news for the biofuel industry and Iowa farmers.

The EPA filing deals with three waivers given by the previous administration to Sinclair Oil refineries to exempt them from biofuel blending requirements.

The agency says Trump’s staff didn’t check to see if the waivers were allowed under a 10th Circuit Court ruling from January 2020.

The three Democratic State Senators praising the EPA action are Kevin Kinney of Oxford, Amanda Ragan of Mason City and Jackie Smith of Sioux City. All three are members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“This decision by the Biden administration is good news for the renewable fuel industry and Iowa farmers who sell to them," the Senators said in a statement. "It reverses a terrible decision by the Trump administration to support Big Oil and dampen demand for ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels."

“We need more policies at the state and federal levels to boost – not threaten – the economic well-being of rural communities. We must boost ethanol demand, help farmers and the biofuel industry, and jump-start the farm economy.”

EPA Administrator Michael Regan is scheduled to be in Des Moines Tuesday to tour the city's Dico Superfund site.The agency is working with the city to clear the site of contamination by the end of this year.

Krause Group, which owns Kum & Go stores, has plans for a several hundred-million-dollar project to build a soccer stadium complex with hotels and other amenities on the site.