Poet Ethanol Owners Blame Trump Administration for Loss of Business

The owner of a western Indiana ethanol plant, with eight other facilities in Iowa and Minnesota, is blaming its shut down and cutbacks on the Trump administration allowing some refineries to not blend ethanol with gasoline as required under federal law.

South Dakota-based ethanol producer Poet, which also owns and operates plants in Jewell, Hanlontown, Emmetsburg, Corning, Coon Rapids and Gowrie, Iowa, and in Preston and Albert Lea, Minnesota, says it will cease production by mid-October at its Cloverdale plant, one of four it operates in Indiana.  A company notification says 50 workers will lose jobs from the closure.

The company says production is being cut at half of its 28 plants where corn is processed into ethanol. Poet says it’s consolidating jobs at plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota and Missouri.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued gasoline refinery exemptions removing 2.6 billion gallons (9.8 billion liters) of ethanol from production.

Poet calls those exemptions “bailouts to oil companies.”