Sen. Grassley: Biofuel policy situation in hands of oil/biofuel industry

Source: By DTN's Washington Insider • Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018

Resolution of differences over U.S. biofuel policy will have to be handled by the U.S. oil and biofuels industry as talks at the lawmaker level have been unsuccessful, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. After a White House meeting last month with senators representing the oil-refining industry, President Donald Trump called on those lawmakers to work with those backing biofuels to come up with a “win-win” solution to the differing views. Grassley told reporters Tuesday that the effort between the two sides had basically broken down. He and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, met with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the lawmaker leading the change from the oil-refining industry side, and advised him that his proposal to cap prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) at 10 cents each was a non-starter.

“The industry tells us that such a cap on RINs would be just catastrophic to ethanol, and I can’t go beyond that,” Grassley said. “There’s a pretty unanimous feeling among ethanol industry that that would be just a no-go. Sen. Ernst and I expressed that to Cruz.” Caught in the middle of the situation is the nomination of Bill Northey of Iowa to be a key USDA undersecretary. Cruz placed a hold on his nomination and so far has not indicated that he will lift the block. Grassley indicated the hold on Northey’s nomination would need to be addressed in some other way, but he did not say how.