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DON’T MESS WITH RFS: Farm groups are urging President Donald Trump to not weaken the nation’s premier fuel policy — the Renewable Fuel Standard.

New study: Nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs tied to biofuels

Renewable fuels director says Texas senator’s attempts to undermine RFS could push “farm families over the economic cliff.”

With a White House meeting being held last week to discuss the fate of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a new study finds nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are tied to biofuels production.

Efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to persuade the White House to undermine the RFS could jeopardize these jobs, according to the study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics, found nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are supported by biofuels production. In addition, the biofuels industry boosts household income for Iowans by more than $2.4 billion.

On Feb. 27, Cruz met with President Donald Trump, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to discuss the future of the RFS.

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.

Texas senator pushing hard to get rid of RFS
“Undermining the RFS will not save one refinery job in Pennsylvania, but as this study reminds us, it could push thousands of farm families over the economic cliff,” Shaw said. “Embracing Sen. Cruz’s anti-RFS proposals would be a complete abdication of President Trump’s pledge to voters to defend the RFS. We are confident that facts, common sense and past commitments will carry the day.”

In recent weeks, Cruz has 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, independent experts, including 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.

“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several studies of PES’ predicament have unanimously concluded that PES was led to bankruptcy as a result of outdated technology, poor management decisions and changes in available crude oil supplies.”

According to IRFA’s study, in 2017 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa:

• Supported roughly 50,000 jobs throughout the entire Iowa economy;

• Generated more than $2.4 billion in household income for Iowans; and,

• Accounted for $5.0 billion, or 3.4%, of Iowa GDP.

Go online to view the fact sheet on the study.

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