Washington, D.C., U.S. — Six U.S. agriculture organizations are urging U.S. President Trump to maintain the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Sorghum Producers, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to not undercut RFS.

Kevin Skunes president of NCGA
Kevin Skunes, president of the NCGA

“We appreciate the president’s support of the RFS since the early days of his campaign,” said Kevin Skunes, president of the NCGA. “Rural America supported President Trump last year, now we need the president to support rural America.  Supporting policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers, renewable fuel plant workers, and rural America.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects 2018 net farm income will decline an additional $4.3 billion this year, a 6.7% reduction from 2017 levels. This represents the lowest net farm income, in nominal dollars, since 2006 and is a 50% decline in net farm income since 2013.

The letter to the president disputes the recent claims made by an East coast refinery that the RFS is to blame for their recent bankruptcy. 

“Mismanagement of a single refinery should not be used as an excuse for undoing 10 years of sound policy,” Skunes said. “Last November, the EPA concluded RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. The failings of one company should not be used to destroy a successful energy policy that serves not only millions of farmers who rely on strong market demand created by the RFS, but the hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants and tens of thousands of plant workers. The reality is, most refiners are reporting double-digit profit increases.”

Skunes said the ag organizations, farmers and rural America are looking for support from the president to follow through.

“Mr. President, now is not the time to turn your back on rural America,” Skunes said. “Do not undermine the RFS and risk putting farmers in an even harder economic situation than they are already in. There is a win-win here, but it means following the intent of the RFS and increasing the supply of RINs through regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol to lower values, as well as bringing more transparency to the trading system.”

To read the complete letter, click here.