White House Holds Meetings to Discuss RFS, Biodiesel

In response to ongoing requests from anti-Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) interests, President Donald Trump and the Administration have held multiple meetings with stakeholders, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and biodiesel companies, to hear perspectives and determine if any actions would be agreeable to both sides.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed placing a hard cap on the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) as a way to assist certain petroleum companies. The biofuels industry, including biodiesel and soybean interests, are opposed to the proposed cap on RIN prices as it would unnecessarily reduce biofuel demand and undermine the RFS. A RIN is a serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use, and trading as required by the RFS.

At Commodity Classic last week, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue cited the importance of the RFS to agricultural markets, indicated his strong support for the RFS and pledged to continue working within the Administration to ensure that the program would not be diminished.

While biodiesel is not being cited as a problem and not targeted directly, many of the proposals that have been discussed to revise the RFS would have an adverse impact on biodiesel demand.  The American Soybean Association (ASA) will continue to be actively engaged with our biodiesel industry partners, USDA and the White House to ensure U.S. biodiesel and soybean markets are not adversely impacted by any changes to the RFS. In turn, ASA will continue to push for extension of the biodiesel tax credit as a way to boost production for RFS volumes that benefit consumers and the fuel industry.