Governors ask Trump to reject proposals that would weaken the RFS

By Erin Voegele | March 15, 2018

On March 15, a group of five Midwestern governors send a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to reject proposals designed to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard, specifically those recently proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The letter notes that many farmers are currently facing significant economic challenges. “These challenges would only be exacerbated by demand-destroying alterations to the RFS—a policy which has been a lifeline for farmers, driving job growth and attracting billions of dollars of investment to rural areas where opportunities are needed most,” wrote the governors in the letter.

The letter quotes Trump as stating “’The EPA should ensure that biofuel RVOs, or blend levels, match the statutory level set by Congress under the RFS.’”

“We could not agree more,” the governors wrote. “But make no mistake, adopting Senator Cruz’s RFS waiver credit proposal would have the same real-world effect as reducing RFS levels during an annual rule-making. It would directly violate your promise to rural voters to uphold RFS levels. A common sense solution would be to grant E15 the same RVP treatment as E10. This would drive down the cost of RINS.”

The letter was signed by Iowa Kim Reynolds, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Kanas Gov. Jeff Colyer, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

The American Coalition for Ethanol is applauding the governors’ letter. “We appreciate the leadership these governors are showing in support of keeping the RFS on track,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “We hope the administration and Congress will listen to their advice and not take any steps to undermine an already shaky farm economy.”

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association has also spoken out in support of the letter. “This letter represents a broad and bold appeal from the Heartland for President Trump to keep his commitment to rural voters,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the IRFA. “Waiver credits would cut the RFS. Period. The governors told President Trump that adoption of the Cruz scheme ‘would directly violate your promise to rural voters to uphold RFS levels.’ That’s about as clear and simple as it gets. It is our hope that President Trump will read these words, take them to heart, and stand by his promise to protect biofuels and American farmers. IRFA commends Governor Reynolds for her continued strong leadership on the RFS and in engaging her fellow governors across the Midwest to clearly lay out just how disruptive and destructive the Cruz scheme would be for biofuels demand and Midwest farmers.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the Iowa governor’s website.