Ethanol regulations shaking up local farmers

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MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (WOWT)-- In June President Donald Trump came to Council Bluffs to predict a bright future for ethanol. Two months later, that future seems dim to some.

According to Federal law, oil refineries are required to blend a certain amount of ethanol into their gasoline. This month the President granted waivers to 31 small refineries reducing the amount of ethanol needed to meet federal standards by 1.4 billion gallons.

Senator Joni Ernst opposes the waivers.

“While there may be some small refineries that have a hardship, certainly a number of these refineries are owned by larger entities like Exxon and Chevron, and so we need to find a path forward,” said Ernst. “Ethanol is really important to not only folks here in the Midwest but consumers other places that simply want a cleaner choice.”

Don Brother’s farm agrees. According to them, agriculture has always had its ups and downs, and right now it’s in a down cycle.

“Losing a portion of ethanol like that, you’re going to well, you’ve just crippled an already struggling market,” said Don.

Don farms 2,500 acres near Missouri Valley and he says that corn and soybean prices keep going down while his input costs remain the same.

“This is a situation where we are innocent bystanders and yet we have a big stake in the pot,” said Don.

Don tells us that the ethanol waiver will cost him money but not break him, he remains hopeful for Trump’s plans.

“I feel the man has a vision for America that I agree with and I feel that you have to take a couple of lashes before you get to victory,” said Don. “Maybe America’s agriculture is on the front of the spear but I still support him.”