ethanol waiver

The Supreme Court says an expanded number of small refineries can seek an exemption from certain renewable fuel requirements. The high court ruled 6-3 that a small refinery that had previously received a hardship exemption from complying with Clean Air Act requirements may obtain an “extension” of that exemption. That’s even if the refinery let a previous exemption lapse.  The Biden administration argued that to get an extension, a refinery had to have maintained a continuous exemption since 2011.Iowa Gov. Reynolds responded to the decision today, saying it is a disappointing setback for Iowa Agriculture and the renewable fuel industry in the state. She said it not only undermines demand for ethanol and biodiesel but it also creates an environment where waivers could grow exponentially.

Today on The Exchange, we talk with incumbent Republican US Senator Joni Ernst and her challenger Democrat Theresa Greenfield.  In two separate interviews, the candidates talk about their priorities and differences in the lead up to the November 3rd election next Tuesday. 

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The Trump administration announced today it plans to implement new rules that will increase demand for ethanol, reversing a decline caused by exemptions given to oil refineries.

The proposal follows months of complaints by Midwest farmers, politicians and the ethanol industry that the federal government's granting of waivers to refiners had violated federal law and forced some ethanol plants to close.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has reopened a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 29 in western Iowa, after flooding closed it late last month.

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A new report suggests slow or no economic growth over the next several months in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The report issued today says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped below growth neutral in August, hitting 49.3 compared with 52.0 in July. The index had remained above growth neutral for 32 straight months.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he blamed the slowdown on weak farm and manufacturing sectors, produced in part by tariffs and a global economic slowdown.