Largest Ethanol Producer Closing Indiana Plant; Blames EPA for Mandate Mismanagement
POET, the largest ethanol producer in the U.S., announced it is closing its ethanol plant in Cloverdale, Indiana, due to mismanagement of the ethanol mandate, according to Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
The move will idle production at the 92 million gallon per year plant, which processes more than 30 million gallons of corn per year and employs hundreds of local people.
Grassly, who is from Iowa, the top U.S. corn ethanol producing state, said the EPA has exempted 31 refineries from complying with the mandate through issued “hardship” waivers that allow small-volume refineries to bypass requirements to mix ethanol into their gasoline, or failing that, to buy credits instead.
The Renewable Fuels Association states that 13 ethanol plants have been shuttered, three of them permanently, due to a drop in demand from the administration’s abuse of the small refiner waivers. However, Grassley warns that introducing legislation on the issue may result in negative repercussions for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).