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Environment & Energy

Senator Says Administration's EPA Rule Waivers Are Hurting Ohio Farmers

photo of Sen. Sherrod Brown
Senator Sherrod Brown says Ohio farmers have lost an opportunity to sell products to oil companies because of waivers approved by the U.S. EPA.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is criticizing the Trump administration for EPA rule waivers that he says are hurting Ohio farmers. The rules had required large oil companies to produce a certain amount of biofuel like ethanol.

By waiving the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard, Brown says it takes a market away from Ohio farmers who sell corn to be turned into ethanol.

“It means that instead of corn farmers selling more corn, ethanol to the oil companies, to these refineries, it means the oil companies win again and corn farmers in Ohio and elsewhere lose again," he says.

Since Trump took office, Brown says the administration has issued 85 waivers, reducing the demand for biofuels by 1.4 billion gallons.

This week, Brown, along with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Senate colleages, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, calling on the EPA to stop the abuse of these waivers causing harm to rural communities across the country.

"This pattern of demand destruction is wreaking havoc on our nation's rural econcomy. ... At a time when farmers are already struggling after years of low prices and a chaotic trade agenda, this Administration chose to destroy more markets for farmers," the letter says.

Read the full letter below: