U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ruffled some feathers Wednesday with his comments during a town hall at a bankrupt Philadelphia refinery. In his speech Cruz championed blue collar workers, while tearing down a federal ethanol mandate.
North Dakota farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Kevin Skunes had this to say in response to Cruz’s remarks:
“While most refiners are reporting double digit profit increases, Philadelphia Energy Solutions has filed for bankruptcy protection because its investors put their interests ahead of their workers’ interests. It’s disingenuous for Senator Cruz to claim he’s looking out for refinery workers, when he’s really looking out for Wall Street investors who made bad business decisions yet ensured they got their payout first, putting refinery jobs at risk.
“Senator Cruz is right about one thing – this is not about pitting corn farmers and refinery workers against each other. Corn famers see refinery owners and investors failing to take responsibility for their poor business decisions. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) works for consumers, union workers, farmers, and our environment. Whether it’s the EPA, financial analysts or university experts, all confirm refiners are not facing a RINs price impact because they recover any costs through the price they receive for their refined products. Senator Cruz is trying to upend the RFS to address a non-existent problem and bail out refiners who opted not to invest in blending infrastructure, so they could blend renewable fuels and get biofuels credits for free.
“Corn farmers’ definition of a “win-win” is providing regulatory parity for E15, and higher blends of ethanol, which would increase the supply of RINs to lower RIN values, and improve transparency in the trading system. The only plan Senator Cruz has is to block the confirmation of Bill Northey, a well-qualified and much-needed leader at the Department of Agriculture, in order to undercut the successful, and beneficial Renewable Fuel Standard.”