Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appealed to President Trump on Thursday to protect oil refinery jobs by capping the price refiners pay for credits, known as RINs, to comply with the ethanol mandate.
Five corn-state senators want to meet President Trump face to face to warn him against the oil industry's proposal of a cap on the price of RINs, the credits that refiners must buy if they don't blend enough ethanol into gasoline. Oil-state senators, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, say the cap is needed to preserve jobs at oil refineries; midwesterners say it would destroy the market for corn ethanol.
The White House is taking a break from biofuels policy, at least temporarily, after two meetings with President Trump at the table failed to find consensus between the oil and ethanol industries. The only agreement, according to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was part of both meetings, "was to look at economic studies" about the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard and possible changes.
President Trump sat down with oil and ethanol leaders for the second time this week without resolving a battle over the federal mandate to mix biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuel. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley later said that “an emerging solution appears to be year-round E15.”
Senators needed only 75 seconds to confirm Bill Northey by voice vote as the No 3. USDA official, ending a four-month delay tied to a fight over the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The Iowa Republican Party pointedly told Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that he endangers his chances of winning the Iowa presidential caucuses in the future if he persists in blocking a Senate vote on Bill Northey to become the No. 3 Agriculture Department official. Meanwhile, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he will circulate a letter calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to force a vote on Northey, currently Iowa's elected state agriculture secretary.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz thwarted an attempt by midwestern senators for an immediate vote on the nomination of Bill Northey of Iowa to be the No. 3 official at the USDA, in charge of farm support and land stewardship programs.
President Trump's nominee to run USDA's farm subsidy and land stewardship programs has waited for three months for a Senate vote, and acknowledges he faces a decision: To file for a fourth term as Iowa state agriculture secretary in this year's elections or wait for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to end his opposition to a vote on him. "I believe there is still hope right now," said nominee Bill Northey told Successful Farming.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is sitting on the nomination of Bill Northey for USDA undersecretary in hopes of winning destructive changes in U.S. ethanol policy, said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley during a telephone news conference.