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.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz proposed a fixed-price ethanol credit that EPA would sell at 10 cents a piece, and that refiners could use to satisfy the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biofuel makers and farm groups responded with a letter to President Trump that said there are ways to handle problems with the credits, called RINs, "without undercutting the RFS and rural America," reported DTN/Progressive Farmer.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz “just keeps moving the goalpost and moving the goalpost,” said Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst after an inconclusive meeting between Senate and White House staff workers on the Renewable Fuel Standard, reported DTN/Progressive Farmer.
The Senate has confirmed Glen Smith to serve on the Farm Credit Administration board, but two other Trump nominees for agricultural posts are being blocked.
President Trump will meet oil industry leaders and their congressional allies for a discussion of the biofuels mandate, reported Reuters, based on two sources. The meeting "could set the stage for negotiations to overhaul the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard," said the wire service; the industry has pressed for years to eliminate the mandate or revise its requirement to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuel.
The winner of the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he will block a confirmation vote on a key USDA nominee until President Trump convenes a meeting to hash out oil-state complaints about the Renewable Fuel Standard.
At least $93.4 million has been donated to candidates and political action committees in 2015 and 2016 by people, companies and groups in the agribusiness sector, says DTN in a perusal of campaign records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Rick Bertrand hopes to turn conservative firebrand Steve King, who backed ethanol skeptic Ted Cruz in the Iowa presidential caucuses, into the first Republican incumbent to lose a House primary race this year. If Bertrand scores in the Iowa primary today, it will be an upset if only because incumbents have won renomination 98 percent of the time since 1946.
Seven-term U.S. Rep. Steve King says ethanol is the root cause of the challenge he faces in the Republican primary election to represent northwestern Iowa in the U.S. House. During the "Iowa Press" program on Iowa Public Television, King said it was a "a fair statement" that he attracted opposition because he supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the presidential caucuses.
Farmers will have to pay higher wages to farmworkers and rely more on mechanization to carry out agricultural tasks when illegal immigration is ended, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told a Wisconsin dairy farmer.
Seven-term Rep. Steve King, a rock-ribbed Iowa conservative, is being challenged in the Republican primary by state Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City in a contest where ethanol may be the elephant in the room.