Grassley says EPA 'screwed' farmers with biofuels exemptions

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — Sen. Charles Grassley 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 Donald 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.