A spokesman for Cargill says the company hasn’t yet decided whether to set the wheels in motion so it can import sugar-based ethanol from a plant in El Salvador. Last week, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin lambasted the Minneapolis-based company, accusing Cargill of trying to undermine the growing U.S. ethanol industry by importing foreign-made ethanol. Harkin is trying to pass legislation that would close the loophole Cargill might use, and Cargill spokesman Brian Edwardson says his company will not stand in Harkin’s way. Edwardson says Cargill will not try to change legislators’ minds on the issue. Cargill is considering construction of a plant in El Salvador, through which Brazilian ethanol — made with sugar rather than corn — would be shipped into the U.S. Edwardson says the company is just considering that option, and hasn’t made a final decision.Edwardson says Cargill’s merely considering an option Congress allowed the company to use, and it’s certainly up to Congress whether the provision remains in place. Harkin accuses “smark Cargill lawyers” of finding the loophole, and he says it’s now time for Congress to close it.
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