MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota lawmakers have weighed in on a Trump Administration proposal to increase demand for ethanol with mixed reactions. 

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new guidelines to increase demand for ethanol. These guidelines include enforcing a requirement, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, that 15 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into the country’s fuel supply beginning in 2020. 

The new proposal is meant to offset waivers that exempt small refineries from blending standards. On Thursday, Democratic Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar called on the Trump Administration to end misuse of these waivers, known as Small Refinery Exemptions, or SREs. 

Klobuchar cited economic hardships for ethanol farmers in states like Minnesota and Iowa. 

In response to the new EPA standards Friday, Klobuchar called the action “damage control” by the administration.  

“This rulemaking won’t recover the over four billion gallons of renewable fuel that we’ve lost to refinery exemptions in the last few years. Under this plan, those gallons—and the important impact they could have had on our environment—are gone forever,” Klobuchar said in a statement. 

Republican Minnesota Congressman Jim Hagedorn praised the policy, calling it a “win” for southern Minnesota, which he represents. 

“This agreement will help restore demand for grain farmers and provide stability for agri-businesses and biofuels operators,” Hagedorn said in a statement. “As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I will continue to monitor and weigh in on this issue as the administration administers these new ethanol program regulations.”

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