Multiple media outlets covered rallies this weekend ahead of a scheduled key White House meeting on Monday in support of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) policy. Biofuel supporters are fearful of the impact of proposed RFS policy changes on farmers and rural communities. Given the posturing for position and the intensity of the RFS debate it is no surprise that the RFS rally cry went out to the grassroots supporters of biofuel.
The Monday morning White House meeting was cancelled.
It was clear that the goal of the rally was to send a message to President Trump about renewable fuels.
Rod Swoboda of Farm Futures covers the rallies across Iowa this past Saturday.
Farmers, biofuel producers and other concerned citizens rallied on Saturday in Iowa to send a message to President Trump: Stand strong on your pledge to support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and reject proposals to bail out oil refiners at the expense of farmers.
Supporters of ethanol and biodiesel gathered at a farm near Nevada in central Iowa for “Refueling America”—to hear about efforts by oil-state senators in Washington, D.C. that threaten the future of homegrown biofuels and farms. Leading the campaign to dismantle the RFS is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). He wants to remove the responsibility of oil refiners to comply with the law, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and family farms across the Midwest.
Senator Ted Cruz has called for a significant reduction in the price of RIN credits. A Renewable Identification Number (or RIN) is a serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use, and trading. Refiners are required to blend biofuels, like ethanol, into the U.S. fuel supply or purchase credits, the RINs, from other companies that do the blending instead.
During the rally, biofuels supporters signed a letter to President Trump asking him to stand by his promise to protect the RFS and put American-made biofuels first.
Ken Anderson of Brownfield News shared this Tweet from the Nevada rally.
At #RefuelingAmerica rally near Nevada, #Iowa, @iowa_corn president Mark Recker says #biofuels industry has faced many challenges, "but this is the maybe the largest threat we've seen". #ethanol @Brownfield pic.twitter.com/x0MZLve8pd
— Ken Anderson (@BRNAgNews_Ken) March 10, 2018
Anderson’s coverage of the rally includes this quote from Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,
“Our message to the president is, ‘for goodness sake, do not buy this pig in a poke from Ted Cruz that drives an economic stake through the heart of rural America—and Iowa specifically.”
Anderson’s coverage includes 43 minutes of audio excerpts from Saturday’s RFS rally near Nevada, Iowa.
Listen to this full audio at brownfieldagnews.com.
Mark Dorenkamp of Brownfield Ag News had an audio interview with with Tom Haag of Minnesota, a board member with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).
Haag says ethanol supporters are ready to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“We put a notice out through our grassroots, calling politicians in D.C. (we) explained to them that a cap on RINs is devastating to us because of the loss of income we’re having right now, and adding this on to it would be that much more devastating.”
Haag says NCGA anticipates the Trump Administration will propose a cap on RIN credits in exchange for greater Reid Vapor Pressure relief.
“From the Corn Grower’s side that’s not a good situation. By capping RINs, that’s going to take all the mechanisms we have had in our toolbox using RINs for higher ethanol blends right down to hardly anything.”
Read more about the proposal impact.
Most interesting in the Haag interview was the discussion of a potential lawsuit if RFS is changed. Haag indicated that the NCGA would be inclined to join such a lawsuit.
Full audio of the interview can be found at brownfieldagnews.com.
Image Courtesy Farm Futures