Debate about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is ongoing after yet another meeting early this week at the White House. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been touting a plan that would allow refiners to export biofuels and then use that exported fuel to fulfill blending obligations under the RFS.
The trouble is, as AgriTalk host Chip Flory pointed out, that is illegal.
“No its clearly not legal, if you look at the RFS, the entire purpose is to drive expanded consumption of domestic renewable fuels,” said Geoff Cooper, executive vice president for the Renewable Fuels Association. “So to somehow suggest that exported renewable fuels are helping with domestic energy security is nonsense.”
The news this week has ethanol groups scrambling for answers
“It sounds a little bit like a mixed bag for us, maybe another two steps forward and two steps back,” said Cooper.
The meeting did yield some results, they decided not to put a cap on Renewable Identification Number (RINS) prices. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had been pushing for a cap, which Cooper says would “absolutely destroy” any incentive to expand higher ethanol blends
On Tuesday Flory also spoke with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
On the RFS Heitkamp said, “This is really, really bad especially, against a backdrop of trade disruption, 50% of all the corn grown in North Dakota actually goes into fuel, which means that this is a huge mover in the market” “We’re going to look at this proposal really closely, we are not going to give up, statutorily, what we are entitled too”
Sen. Heitkamp has co-authored a bill that would make it easier for young farmers to get their start. The bill has been named the Next Generation in Agriculture Act. With the average age of farmers in her home state of North Dakota around 60, she says it’s time to start clearing the way for younger farmers with ambition to have their change.
You can hear more about the bill by clicking the player above.