SIOUX CENTER — A leader at a northwest Iowa ethanol plant says after the Trump Administration granted ethanol waivers to oil refineries in August, the plant just could not continue operating.

“Every one of them has hurt under the Trump Administration, but the last 31 were the final blow. In two days, ethanol prices dropped 18 to 20 cents…That just kind of took the sails out of the profitability of the ethanol industry,” said Kelly Niewenhuis, chairman of the board for Siouxland Energy in Sioux Center, which quit producing ethanol this week.

Niewenhuis said they’re hoping the fix being worked on by the Trump Administration will help turn things around.

“If we get the same response out of positive news that we got out of the negative news with the last round of small refinery exemptions and we get a 20-cent bounce in ethanol prices, it won’t take long to get this thing up and running again,” the Siouxland Energy board leader said. ‘

Niewenhuis said President Trump needs to keep his promise to farmers and the ethanol industry. Forty-two people have been working at the Sioux Center plant. Farmers in the area were annually selling Siouxland Energy 23.5 million bushels of corn for processing into ethanol.

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