(Council Bluffs) -- A Democratic presidential candidate joins Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne in hosting a special event aimed at agricultural issues.
Axne and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar moderate an agricultural roundtable at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs Thursday morning at 10. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Wednesday morning, Axne says part of the discussion will focus on what she calls the Environmental Protection Agency's misuse of biofuel waivers, and its impact on the ag industry.
"First and foremost, we obviously still have a problem with the Renewable Fuel Standard waivers," said Axne. "We still are wondering where we are going to be as a state if this administration and the EPA doesn't get something on the books that helps straighten out these waivers. So, we really want to bring light to the impact of ethanol, not just on Iowa, but on the country, the ability for us to help out with the environmental issues that people are facing, and climate issues, with the product that we sell her."
Axne says she welcomes Klobuchar's participation in the roundtable.
"Senator Klobuchar comes from a Midwest state," she said. "She's very familiar with agricultural issues, as well. I'm letting any presidential candidate do an event with me that I think is relevant to our district. So, this is one we want to keep in the news, because we want to keep the pressure on the EPA and the administration to make sure that we make Iowa whole again. So, it's going to be to highlight the issues we're facing with trade, ethanol, etcetera."
The West Des Moines Democrat says Iowa's ethanol industry continues to feel the affects to the EPA's granting of 31 RFS waivers to oil refineries.
"We've lost billions of gallons of opportunities in sales," said Axne. "About four billion gallons. Not only does this hurt our current revenue stream that we should be taking in from the sale of ethanol, but what it does is it impacts the amount of ethanol that fossil fuel companies are required to buy from us by limiting our demand now, because we base our future Renewable Fuel Standards on a formula. That's based also on what you sell. So, if you're limiting what you sell, we're limiting our opportunities for years to come."
Axne also questions President Trump's claim the waivers were granted to keep smaller refineries operating.
"When Chevron and Exxon--multibillion dollar companies are receiving waivers because of financial hardship," she said, "I have a hard time believing that this was necessary. I know that that's the case. We know that that's the case. It's a fact that those companies receive those waivers. As a matter fact, the Department of Energy recently put out--as we continuing to investigate this--a statement that they did not approve of the waivers in the way that they were granted. They approved the waivers that were half of the amount of ethanol."
Like the rest of Iowa's congressional delegation, Axne awaits the president's promised plan on boosting ethanol and biofuel production in the country. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.