Betsy Singer: Now new rule surrounding waivers for ethanol makers is having some wondering what's going on. In politics and ethanol. Thank you so much for keeping it with us tonight. We are once again diving into the ethanol issue, especially when it comes to our lawmakers. Uncertainty brewing both on capitol hill and in midwest communities over a recent refinery waiver proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. In a press release earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency said 31 small refinery exemptions were granted in the most recent compliance year. The Trump Administration also lifted the summertime ban on e-85 sales, which the EPA said supports farmers in the us and provides greater energy security. Many Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, say these moves are undermining Minnesota's bio-fuels industry. And, today, a group of senators called on the White House to stop granting waivers to big oil companies, exempting them from the renewable fuel standard program. We're going to get to both of them. That group included Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. After the break, we will get the republican side. Take a listen.
Let's talk about the waivers issues and from what I understand they are benefiting large oil companies and you say it is hurting the met west and Minnesota farmers.
Klobuchar: It will, yes. We lost an ethanol plant in Minnesota and Winnebago. We have lost plants in iowa and really all through the midwest, plants are starting to close. This doesn't need to happen. This happened because there is a standard in place, renewable fuel standard, and every year, just a handful of these waivers from that standard were given to small refineries, oil refineries that needed some help. That's how it has been handledded for years. All the sudden, this administration comes in and starts granting a bunch of waves to big companies, like Exxon and Chevron. Basically, what happens was they under mined the whole renewable fuel market and that is why you see bio diesel and ethanol plants closing down. At the same time it is a type of fuel that is beter for the environment, it takes less water than actually the way we want to go.
Singer: Let's talk about that in a work that is being done in Washington. You have critics who say anybody that is holding public office, especially a federal office and on the campaign actually running for president aren't getting enough done and focusing on foreign policy.
Klobuchar:This is squarely in the hands of the administration right now. It doesn't matter at this point what we tell them to do because they won't do. It they are the ones that granted the waiver and it had nothing to do with democrats or republicans in congress, the president decided to give waivers to the oil companies and got us to where they are. This is why I think the solutions shall, one, stop granting the waiver. Two, have a more transparent process so if you are going to consider a few-of them, we know exactly what they are and what's happening. Three, show the economic impact, which is something I've asked them to do. Congresswoman Axne over in the House and I have asked them to do this so we can look at the damage that they've done here so we can figure out how to fix it those are just some of the ideas, but this is completely in their hands to fix. They caused it and they can fix it and I've seen a lot of farmers out there who aren't partisan about this but they're just saying why are they doing it to us? First a trade war and now this. I think kids that grow up in rural Minnesota and rural America should be able to live there, and that means you make sure you've got steady businesses and steady rural policies.
Singer: Senator Amy Klobuchar in Washington, thank you for your time.
Klobuchar: Thank you.