Two members of the Illinois congressional delegation criticized the Trump administration’s new rules on ethanol production. They called the new rules “watered-down” and “complete failure” for farmers. The new regulations have been issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency last week. US Sen. Dick Durbin and US Rep. Cheri Bustos released their statements in response to the new regulations.
They said that the Trump Administration was selling out farmers by issuing waivers on biofuel production to major refineries. Farmer alleged the Trump administration of being responsible for a production cut of ethanol by 2.6 billion gallons. They said that the refinery waivers were the reason behind the production cut of ethanol.
Farmers also criticized the ongoing trade war between Trump and China. The EPA was criticized by Bustos in August when it granted 31 new refinery waivers. According to Durbin, the trump administration has granted 85 refinery waivers so far. Durbin said in a statement, “President Trump has single-handedly delivered one crippling blow after another to everyone who invested decades in building the biofuels industry.”
Durbin added that he was confused about whether they would ever see a biofuels industry under Trump like they once had. Trump said that he loved ethanol and biodiesel. Durbin said, “After the issuance of new regulations, I say I will believe it when I see it”. Bustos said that the administration failed to meet the needs of farmers and biofuel producers.
Robin Hanna, the project manager for the Rural Economic Technical Assistance Center for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, conducted a study on the ethanol industry of Illinois. Hanna delivered the report at the annual meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau this month. Hanna said while talking to the FarmWeekNow.com, “There are big numbers. And the downstream effects are huge.”