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Sen. Joni Ernst Holds Out Hope for Ethanol Fix, Flooding Fears South of Sioux City

091919 304

Water began creeping over county roads and flowing through already-broken levees in parts of western Iowa on Wednesday as the Missouri River rose.

Interstate 29 north of Council Bluffs remained open to traffic Thursday morning. The Iowa Department of Transportation reported some ramp closures west of Crescent, Iowa, on Interstate 680 and on I-29.

The department warned that conditions could change rapidly. Republican Senator Joni Ernst says she doesn’t think President Trump will choose Big Oil over American farmers in deciding whether to require some oil refineries to blend more ethanol into gasoline.

Ernst and other top Iowa Republicans met with Trump last week to discuss a possible fix for his decision to exempt 31 refineries from ethanol mandates. But Trump is reportedly meeting with oil state senators today.

Ernst says Trump told her he doesn’t want small oil refineries to shut down.

And I said yes I understand that Mr. President, we don’t either. We don’t want people to lose their jobs. But certainly, we see that now in Iowa with our own ethanol industry. Our plants are closing now. And that fully wasn’t explained to him.”

Trump approved the 31 small refinery waivers, but Ernst now says the EPA administrator didn’t give him enough information about the impact on ethanol producers and farmers.

Shortly after Ernst talked with reporters, Trump’s campaign sent a news release stating its support for the fossil fuel industry.

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