John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics released a study last week that found nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are supported by biofuels production. Moreover, the biofuels industry boosts household income for Iowans by more than $2.4 billion. The study was commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA).
The study was release ahead of last week’s meetings on Tuesday and Thursday at the White House about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate. The study noted:
Efforts by Texas Senator Ted Cruz to convince the White House to undermine the RFS would jeopardize these jobs and thousands of Iowa farm families already struggling with low commodity prices.
IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw said the President should not let the theatrics of the junior Texas Senator distract him from the facts and his previous commitments to uphold the RFS.
In recent weeks, Senator Cruz has relentlessly attempted to blame the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) oil refinery on the price of RINs, the compliance mechanism for the RFS. However, every single independent expert, including noted oil economist Phil Verleger, the University of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Reuters, and even EPA professional staff, agree that RINs are not the cause of PES’ bankruptcy.
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.
Senator Ted Cruz does believe that the RFS is a jobs and family issue. He also notes how the federal government should be standing with you rather than fighting against you. However juxtaposed against this study and statements from others about RFS’s impact on the oil industry, Senator Cruz has a clear preference for oil jobs over farm jobs.
This is about jobs. Jobs that provide for your families, and jobs that provide for your kids: https://t.co/75sZJV160f
The working men and women in this country should have a federal government that is standing with you rather than fighting against you.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 27, 2018
“There is not a single independent study that agrees with Cruz and PES’ claims that RINs were the source of the refinery’s problems,” Shaw said. “Meanwhile, several studies of PES’ predicament have unanimously concluded that PES was led to bankruptcy as a result of outdated technology, poor management decisions, and changes in available crude oil supplies.”
Senator Cruz’s RFS proposal isn’t a new position for him but is a drum beat he has recently resumed. It comes at a time when Texas primary voting has commenced with Democratic enthusiasm at recent high and as his own Texas Senate re-election race has tightened significantly.
Looking back to Iowa and what the federal government RFS program means to all Iowa workers, businesses, and families, Urbanchuk’s study provides an economic impact assessment of renewable fuels on Iowa’s economy. Highlights include:
Accounts for $5.0 billion, or about 3.4%, of Iowa GDP;
Generates $2.4 billion of income for Iowa households; and
Supports roughly 50,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy.
The study’s full statement on Renewable Fuels Impact on the Iowa Economy can be found here.
The study’s press release can be read here at iowarfa.org