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Axne defends RFS in Corteva virtual town hall

Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne (bottom right) takes part in a Corteva Agriscience virtual forum via Zoom on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne is calling on the Trump administration to uphold the integrity of federal fuel standards.

Speaking as a special guest during a Corteva Agriscience virtual town hall event on Zoom late Tuesday morning, Axne responded to concerns surrounding the stabilization of the ethanol industry. Corteva officials said the health of the ethanol industry was critical to its customers, small Iowa communities and the security of America’s fuel supply. Axne says much of the problems facing the industry stem from the administration issuing renewable fuel standard waivers.

“Let’s get money out of politics,” Axne said “Because the minute we do that, we’ll be able to do what’s right for this country and not make decisions that support a re-election. I don’t want to make this political, but that is truly one of the big issues. We can’t prioritize people over others because they can give more support, more votes, or have more money.”

Axne stated that Iowa farmers and those in the ethanol industry are working hard day in and day out to try and maintain the industry. She says some plants have shut down and others have had to lay off workers due to the effects of COVID-19 – coupled with the damage caused by small refinery exemption waivers.

Recently, a bipartisan group of Midwest lawmakers sent a letter to the president demanding the denial of waiver requests. Axne supports these efforts led by Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer.

“We are continuing to push back, those of us in ag and ethanol states like ours, on any requests like that that are coming in,” Axne said. “We are in a constant battle with other states who want to not have this. It’s painful to see these really wealthy companies, who don’t pay enough in taxes, being given all of these waivers when they don’t need it.”

The National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy are all supportive of Congresswoman Finkenauer’s call to reject blanket statewide and national waivers. Last month, Iowa Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, along with other Midwest senators, sent a similar bipartisan letter to President Trump.