As concerns began to grow late last week that the Trump Administration was leaning toward a cap on prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to appease oil refinery interests, biofuel interests went into high gear to get the word out about how that action would devastate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
A White House meeting was reportedly set for today (March 12), and then abruptly canceled, but that did not stop a rally that was set up at the farm of Bill Couser in Nevada, Iowa with just 24 hours notice. The main attraction at the rally was two industry representatives who were part of a meeting with President Trump on March 1 – fuel retailer Charlie Good and ethanol producer Rick Schwarck.
Good and Schwarck described an “intense” meeting which included other biofuel representatives, oil refiner interests, Iowa Senators Grassley and Ernst, Senator Cruz of Texas and several cabinet members. The first part of the discussion revolved around allowing 15% ethanol blends to be sold year-round by treating it the same as E10.
“If you allow us to sell (E15) year-round, nationwide, we’ll flood the market with RINs and price will take care of itself, and (the president) understood that,” said Good, noting that everyone in the room agreed that was a good idea.
“For 80 percent of the meeting, everybody agreed that it was good, good, good,” said Schwarck. But towards the end of the meeting, oil interests got more “vocal” and “abrupt” and “really ramped it up on us.”
Good says he got in the last word as he was leaving the room. “I said Mr. President…if you cap the RINs, it will gut the biofuels industry. And he said, I gotta have a deal, Charlie. And I said if you gotta have a deal, cap them at a buck 50,” said Good. “He’s a businessman and he wants to make a deal.”
Rick and Charlie talk about meeting with the president here: Rick Schwarck and Charlie Good comments
Interview with Schwarck: Interview with Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy
Good, owner of Good & Quick in Nevada, Iowa is one of several retailers who spoke for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) to explain how the RIN system helps them keep prices down for higher ethanol blends:
Charlie Good comments on how RIN system works for retailers