MASON CITY — Two Democratic candidates for president who were in north-central Iowa last week say getting rid of small oil refinery biofuel waivers is key in advancing ethanol and biodiesel in the country.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar says if she becomes president, she’ll stop granting those waivers to companies like Chevron and Exxon.  “What I would do is review all the waivers they’ve given now. In just one summer period after the president visited an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, they granted 31 waivers. I would review all these dozens and dozens of waivers. I would most likely revoke some of them, I would want to look at all of them. Then I would start a new path where we ensure  transparency and we would get back to the days when we were just giving out five or six of these waivers every month.”

California billionaire Tom Steyer says he would get rid of all the waivers for oil refineries.  “I think we’re going to need biofuels, there’s no question. We’re going to have to not only have biofuels, we’re going to need to improve biofuels. We can’t get away from it in the fact that this president sold out to his oil company friends, doesn’t surprise me, but it doesn’t make it right.”

Steyer says rural America is going to have to be a critical partner in solving the climate crisis.  “It’s not just in terms of biofuels, it’s not just in terms of the wind turbines that are all over Iowa, the 42% wind energy generation here, we are also going to have to look to the rural parts of America and the farmers of America to partner in sequestering carbon, and that’s going be something we’re going to have to work on as partners. Farmers are going to have to get paid for it. It’s going to be something that should make them more prosperous and better off, but they’re also going to critical function in terms of solving this problem.”

Since President Trump took office, the EPA has quadrupled the number of waivers it has granted to refiners