The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement in response to meetings at the White House over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Background: Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has placed a “hold” on the nomination of Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey to be USDA Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation as leverage to demand that President Trump and “corn state” Senators agree to negotiate a so-called “win-win” solution to reforming the RFS.  Senator Cruz allegedly is concerned about the prices that certain refiners are paying for Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credits under the RFS.  During a meeting with Senator Cruz and others last week, President Trump reiterated his commitment to upholding the RFS.  Another White House meeting took place Wednesday among staff for Republican Senators, EPA, and others.

“ACE members are grateful President Trump has reiterated his support for upholding the RFS as the law of the land, and we’re especially grateful key U.S. Senators have reaffirmed that Senator Cruz does not seem to have a genuine ‘win-win’ solution to put on the table.  Let’s cut to the chase.  These antics from Senator Cruz aren’t about RIN prices or Bill Northey’s nomination to USDA, Cruz is trying to limit ethanol’s market share on behalf of Big Oil.

“If Senator Cruz or refiners truly want to take pressure off RIN prices, there is a viable ‘win-win’ solution on the table that doesn’t involve dismantling the RFS. The solution is to update the antiquated Reid vapor pressure (RVP) limit which restricts the availability of E15.  The quickest way to reduce RIN prices is to increase the supply of RINs.  The quickest way to increase the supply of RINs is to blend more ethanol.  The quickest way to blend more ethanol is to provide RVP relief for E15.  Senator Cruz should cosponsor S. 517 (the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act) or join us in calling on EPA to address this matter.

“It should be noted that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said that refiners are not significantly harmed by RIN prices because they are able to recover RIN costs through the prices they receive for refined products. The RFS is the law of the land and refiners are bound to comply with it.  Refiners and Senators who represent oil states have mischaracterized recent actions by EPA as “wins” for ethanol when in reality the administration has simply upheld and defended the law of the land.”