Trump Choice of Perry for Energy Raises Questions Over RFS

Source: By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN/ Progressive farmer • Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry as his Energy secretary, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The choice also means Perry won’t be nominated for Agriculture secretary.

It should be noted the Trump transition team has not issued a statement yet acknowledging Perry’s nomination.

Iowa renewable fuels industry leaders are uneasy about the selection of Perry, an RFS critic, and of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, but still have faith in Trump, the Quad City Times reported today. They noted that Trump’s campaign manager in Iowa, Eric Branstad, also led efforts to inform Republican candidates about the RFS during the primary season. Branstad’s father is Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who is Trump’s nominee as ambassador to China.

“Iowa renewable fuels leaders uneasy, but keep faith in Trump”…

Perry pushed EPA multiple times during years of higher grain prices for waivers to the Renewable Fuels Standard that EPA repeatedly rejected.

A Renewable Fuels Association spokeswoman declined to comment on the Perry selection because it has not been made official. RFA has also declined to comment on the selection of Pruitt.

But earlier this week, RFA distributed a letter to Trump, written by the governors of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota on behalf of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, thanking him for his support of biofuels and the RFS during the campaign and saying they are looking “forward to a robust and healthy relationship between your administration, America’s farm families and our nation’s renewable fuels industry.”

Governors’ Biofuels Coalition letter:…

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen thanked the governors – Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Terry Branstad (Iowa) and Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota) – and said, “The president-elect understands the importance of clean, domestic energy resources and the economic power of value-added agriculture. We are confident he will continue to support the RFS and expanded production and use of fuel ethanol during his administration.”

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.