RFS Waivers

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The Iowa Supreme Court says it will take an appeal of an Iowa attorney who challenged a 2017 flight Gov. Kim Reynolds and her family took.  That flight was on a private jet to a football game in Memphis, Tennessee.

Gary Dickey filed a complaint with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board in September 2018, alleging the $2,880 claimed for four seats on the jet in campaign documents underestimated the flight's value.

The board dismissed his complaint, saying the estimate was reasonable.

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A new committee tasked with making criminal justice reform recommendations to Governor Kim Reynolds met for the first time today.

Iowa criminal justice system leaders and stakeholders heard presentations about trends in Iowa’s prison population and the barriers people face when they leave prison.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg chairs the committee. 

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Corn growers and ethanol producers are concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed fix for ethanol demand.  The ethanol industry wants the federal government to account for dozens of ethanol exemption waivers it issued to small refineries.

Iowa’s Republican elected officials say they are confident the President is on their side, though the EPA  proposal disappointed many. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says intends to submit comments asking that the legally required number of gallons be met.

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Ethanol advocates are frustrated with a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency that they say goes against a promise made by the White House.

Earlier this month President Donald Trump said he had reached a deal to restore demand for ethanol that is lost when the EPA grants waivers to small oil refineries. But biofuels producers say the official EPA proposal would only cover about half of the industry’s annual losses. 

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Ethanol producers and farmers are hoping for an agreement that will require some refineries to use more ethanol to make up for the waivers granted by the Trump administration. 

Governor Kim Reynolds says President Trump verbally agreed to a fix for his decision to exempt 31 refineries from blending ethanol into gasoline.  Reynolds hopes the President will make the announcement in Iowa. Ethanol producers and farmers are hoping for an agreement that will require some refineries to use more ethanol to make up for the waivers granted by the Trump administration. 

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A second Siouxland area ethanol plant is shutting down. The first was Plymouth Energy in Merrill, and now Sioux Center-based Siouxland Energy,  a farmer-owned cooperative, has also stopped operations. The closures at both Iowa ethanol plants are temporary.   A written statement blames the Trump Administration’s waivers so ethanol doesn’t have to be blended in gasoline produced at what the board said were “many large oil refineries.”