Trump Administration officials planned to meet leaders from biofuel and oil companies today to end the current impasse over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The meeting, however, was cancelled.
One proposal being floated by oil company representatives would put a cap on prices for Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, which are required to comply with the RFS. The proposal stands to undermine growth in the biofuels industry.
“Corn farmers have fought hard the past ten years, within Congress, with the last Administration, and in the Courts to protect the opportunity for renewable fuels to continue to grow as an option for consumers,” said Kevin Skunes, National Corn Growers Association president. “Today, the President is considering a proposal from the oil industry that could cut farm income almost $4 billion dollars per year for the next two years. It is a deal that American farmers cannot afford.”
NCGA is opposed to an oil industry proposal that would cap the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). According to a study released this week by Iowa State University, a RIN cap would reduce ethanol demand by more than 750 million gallons and cost corn farmers as much as 25-cents per bushel.
“We’ve made our case to the Secretary and the President that there are options that can provide a win-win to farmers, ethanol, and oil — namely, fixing existing Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations to allow year-round use of fuel blends above 10% ethanol. Unfortunately, the oil industry continues to insist those changes are not enough. Three years ago, NCGA took the Obama Administration to court over decisions that violated the Renewable Fuel Standard. We are hopeful that the President is willing to consider an RVP fix as the best solution, but we will continue to oppose any deal that includes a RIN cap or waiver credits,” Skunes said. “We understand the President is committed to protecting jobs—so are we. We need the President to understand that this commitment needs to extend to rural America—to our farms, biofuels plants, and the manufacturing and processing jobs that depend upon American agriculture.”
The National Farmers Union shares the concerns of NCGA.
“NFU opposes a cap on RIN prices because it would undermine the RFS and disincentivize blending of homegrown, renewable fuels in our transportation sector. Production of these biofuels is vital to family farmers and rural communities right now, as farm incomes are less than half of what they were just four years ago,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president. “Not only is a RIN cap harmful to American agriculture, it is a sellout of farmers and a handout to refiners. The Administration should simply lift the summertime restriction on the sale of E15, which would both boost ethanol production and decrease costs for refiners by instituting new RINs. NFU strongly urges the Administration to reject any RFS deal that includes a cap on RIN prices.”