Iowa Republican Sen Joni Ernst Announces Ethanol Plant ‘Stepping Up to the Plate’ to Make Hand Sanitizer

On Friday, it was announced that Valero’s ethanol plant in Hartley, Ia., began making hand sanitizer Thursday to help fight the spread of the Coronavirus. Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst took to Twitter to promote the effort saying that they were “another company stepping up to the plate!”

Another company stepping up to the plate! Valero Energy is utilizing their plant in Hartley to produce hand sanitizer for hospitals across Iowa and the country.

The sanitizer, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be distributed to local hospitals and emergency care providers.

“We are ready and willing to do what we can in communities surrounding our plants to help ease the nation’s critical shortage of hand sanitizer,” Joe Gorder, Valero chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Valero has 14 ethanol plants, and will consider making sanitizers at other plants if needed, company officials said.

Five Democrats are running to try to knock Ernst off in November and one of them, Eddie Mauro, recently was found making a false accusation in a fact check from a local newspaper, The Gazette.

He claimed, “During Joni Ernst’s time in the United States Senate protections for Iowa workers on the job have been gutted, OSHA enforcement budgets slashed, and workplace deaths have increased.”

The paper found, the enforcement budget hasn’t been slashed as Mauro claims.

They explained, budget briefs for the Labor Department going back to 2016 show OSHA’s budget for “federal enforcement” have stayed flat or increased since 2015, when Ernst took office. The enforcement budget was $208 million from 2015 to 2018, then went up to $209 million in 2019 and $221.7 million in 2020.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the Department of Labor, oversees worker safety.

“Federal OSHA is a small agency,” the Labor Department reports online. “With our state partners, we have approximately 2,100 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.”

Ernst recently released a video titled, “You can always count on a farmer.” She talks about “the resiliency and the tenacity of Iowa’s farmers is unchanging and continues to shine through in these challenging times.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *