Daschle talks ethanol at Siouxland shareholder meeting

Source: By ALEX BOISJOLIE, Sioux City Journal • Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tom Daschle Siouxland Ethanol

SOUTH SIOUX CITY | Former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota praised leaders of a northeast Nebraska ethanol plant Tuesday for their efforts to boost production of the corn-based fuel.

“Siouxland (Ethanol) deserves a great deal of credit,” Daschle said in an interview with the Journal. “They are at just about 80 million gallons a year now, which is a huge amount of ethanol product. They are doing extremely well.

“This has been a good year for them. They are continuing to grow and expand and they are run by a great board. They got a lot of good things going for them.”

Daschle, a former Senate majority leader who now works as a Washington lobbyist, was the keynote speaker at Siouxland Ethanol’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday at the Marina Inn. Daschle, a Democrat, was a main sponsor of the Clean Air Act legislation in 1990 requiring gas sold in the nation’s smoggiest areas to contain an oxygenate, giving a major boost to the then-fledgling ethanol industry.

“What I want to get across is how dynamic the ethanol industry is and how we need to build on the things in the past,” Daschle said before his speech in South Sioux City Tuesday. “We passed the Clean Air Act amendments and that gave us a threshold. We passed the Renewable Fuel Standard and that gave us an opportunity, catalytically, to see the explosion of the industry.”

Daschle first represented South Dakota in the U.S. House from 1978 to 1986. After being elected to the U.S. Senate, he served stints as both the minority and majority leader until 2004, when he lost his reelection bid to now Republican Sen. John Thune.

Siouxland Ethanol, located near Jackson, Nebraska, produces an estimated 80 million gallons of corn-based ethanol per year following a $8 million expansion project completed in January. Before the addition, the company made about 50 to 65 million gallons annually.

The Dakota County plant is backed by 700 investors. More than 300 people came to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary Tuesday.