While the future of the Renewable Fuels Standard is discussed at length during Commodity Classic in California, the RFS is also in the middle of a very busy week at the White House. Iowa Republicans Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst joined Ted Cruz of Texas and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania presenting opposing points of view to Cabinet members. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed in Anaheim that no deal was made.
“There’s a lot of rumor about decisions being made. Senator Cruz and Senator Toomey made their case to the President about job degradation in the independent refiners. That’s something, obviously, the President has to listen to. If it bears out that higher RIN prices are contributing, we’re talking about independent, not the big oil guys. They’re doing fine because they’re generating the RINs.”
RINs are renewable identification numbers. Perdue said the President has a responsibility to listen to both sides and continues to do so this week, having invited the National Corn Growers Association to a meeting Thursday.
“He’s invited the biofuels community, primarily the corn growers. Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst could invite those to the White House tomorrow. That’s an unusual step to have the President of the United States say, ‘Come in. Let’s talk about this. Let’s figure out solutions to this issue. I’m strong for the farmers, I have committed to that. I’m not going to back up from that but as a President, I’ve got a responsibility to listen to all aspects of American economy.’ That’s what he’s doing.”
Perdue says he remains committed to the RFS and growing the biofuels industry, and his support is unequivocal.
“I will not support any policies that reduce the demand for ethanol and biofuels less than where we have it currently. My goal is to grow it by eliminating the waiver on RVP where we can build up a culture of 15 percent ethanol for the future.”
Many conversations still to come on RFS, so stay tuned.