The politics holding up Bill Northey's nomination

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is out today with a white paper in regard to a town hall meeting about the RFS and how this plays into the hold-up on Bill Northey's USDA nomination.  They call it "a political move that has nothing to do with genuine concern for Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) employees and everything to do with enhancing Senator Ted Cruz’s chances of reelection in Texas, Cruz is hosting a town hall meeting at PES this afternoon to discuss PES’ and his false claim that RIN prices caused PES to declare bankruptcy." 

So, a list of 10 questions has been compiled they believe "Sen. Cruz ought to answer about PES, RINs, and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  

  1. No independent experts have disputed Harvard Professor James Stock’s conclusion that allowing E15 to be sold year-round would lower the cost of RINs. If the real problem is high RIN prices, why does Cruz oppose allowing the sale of E15 year-round?


  1. Many experts, including the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, EPA, highly-respected oil economist Philip Verleger, legal counsel for SIGMA and NACS, and many others have said RINs do not hurt refiners like PES because they recoup the costs when they sell their refined products. Why has not one independent expert stepped forward to say the PES/Carlyle Group/Cruz narrative on RIN prices is accurate?


  1. Why did Cruz tell the President and Senate Majority Leader he had a “win-win” solution only to release a plan that would have severely hurt corn ethanol and eviscerated advanced biofuels? No sane person can say the Cruz plan was “win-win.” Just today he tweeted again about a “win-win” solution. Why does Cruz continue to mislead people?


  1. Why is Cruz running interference for the politically-connected Carlyle Group who, according to Reuters, systematically sucked the equity out of PES leading to the current predicament?


  1. Is Cruz’s defense of the Carlyle Group government bailout for PES and their questionable business decisions based on the thousands of dollars of donations Cruz has received from Carlyle Group principals?


  1. Whether he supports the law or not, does Cruz approve of PES/Carlyle Group’s efforts to game the RFS system by selling its RINs prior to filing for bankruptcy?


  1. Why did Cruz promise Iowans more market access for ethanol when campaigning in the Iowa Caucuses, but never introduced legislation to remove regulatory roadblocks and, in fact, even opposed the one effort to knock down unjustified roadblocks for ethanol blends (E15 RVP)?


  1. Why does Cruz continue to hold the nomination of Bill Northey to a senior USDA post when he got the meeting with the President he originally sought? Every time his new demand was met, he simply changed the criteria for releasing his hold. Doesn’t this show that Cruz’s grandstanding is really about his reelection in Texas?


  1. Ted Cruz once promised to “rescind the EPA’s blend wall, allowing ethanol to command a much larger share of the energy market.” If Sen. Cruz stands by that statement, what steps will he take to allow great market access for ethanol blends?


  1. Does Ted Cruz still believe there are unfair market restrictions on higher ethanol blends, or was that just a pandering talking point when he campaigned in Iowa? If he stands by his earlier statement, why has Sen. Cruz not introduced legislation or encouraged the EPA to knock down the barriers to “full market access” for ethanol blends?

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