Activist investor wrong to attack homegrown biofuels

By Delayne D. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Quad County Corn Processors

Refinery owner Carl Icahn has been pressing the incoming administration to turn its back on homegrown biofuels, like those produced here in Iowa. Normally, that wouldn’t matter much, because President-elect Donald Trump campaigned and won on the promise of supporting ethanol and other biofuels. Unfortunately, Icahn has just been named as President-elect Trump’s new special adviser on regulation, an unofficial position that shields Icahn from legal requirements designed to curtail conflicts of interests.

Delayne Johnson, C.E.O. of Quad County Corn Processors

Delayne Johnson, C.E.O. of Quad County Corn Processors

It’s a sad state of affairs that threatens to derail President-elect Trump’s core of support in America’s heartland and turn Midwestern senators against cabinet picks like Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency. As someone who wants to see Trump succeed, my hope is that he’ll maintain a healthy skepticism about Icahn’s motives and keep the new administration focused on fulfilling its promise to revitalize rural economies, support agriculture and create jobs.

Step one will be for Pruitt to publicly reject the changes that Icahn is demanding to the Renewable Fuel Standard, America’s most successful domestic energy program for 11 years.

As currently structured, the RFS ensures that oil companies give biofuels a chance to compete at the pump, which creates competition and offers consumers more affordable fuel options. It does so by setting minimum targets for the volume of biofuels that refiners and importers must include in the fuel supply.

To read the full story, visit the Des Moines Register here.