JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) -- Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says farmers were "screwed" by the Trump administration's decision to allow some refineries to not blend ethanol with gasoline as required under federal law.
During a taping of Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program Friday, Grassley was asked his thoughts on 31 refinery exemptions the Environmental Protection Agency issued for 2018 and approved after a review last week.
He responded: "They screwed us."
President Trump promised farmers, who largely supported him in the 2016 election, he would support ethanol production. The fuel is primarily made from corn.
Industry groups say the additional exemptions reduced biofuel demand by 1 billion gallons. They say previous exemptions the last two years reduced demand by 2.6 billion gallons.
Some in the industry blame the policy for recent biofuels plant closures.