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Sen. Brown Says EPA Rule Waivers Hurt Ohio Farmers

Sen. Sherrod Brown
Andrew Harnik
Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) 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 other Senate colleagues, 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 economy. ... 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.

Valerie Royzman joined WKSU in August 2019 as a news intern. She is a senior journalism major at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Valerie has spent the last few years in Northeast Ohio, but Toledo is home.