The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to Senator Cruz’s remarks during the Philadelphia refinery (PES) town hall.
“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 farmers 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. “
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.