I’m not sure if it’s cognitive dissonance or buyer’s remorse, but I’m sure there’s schadenfreude to be had (if you’re that kind of mean person) in watching South Dakota biofuel makers try to square their support for the Trumpist regime with Trump’s selection of fossil-fuel ally and ethanol opponent Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Check out how Biodiesel Magazine tries to assure its industry readers that Pruitt won’t continue his resistance to the Renewable Fuel Standard that helps biofuel compete with Big Oil:
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, “We congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his nomination and look forward to working with him to carry out President-elect Trump’s strong commitments to protecting the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and ending restrictions to getting more ethanol into our fuel supply. America’s ethanol industry worked hard to help bring President-elect Trump to the White House and continues to support his dedication to ensuring home-grown domestic energy security.”
The American Coalition for Ethanol noted Pruitt’s record is of concern, but cautioned against overreacting. “We are disappointed that, as the Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt opposed EPA’s approval of E15 and criticized the RFS,” said Brian Jennings, executive vice president of ACE. “While his record is cause for concern, there are a few reasons not to overreact … First, Mr. Pruitt’s boss will be President Trump, who promised to strongly support the RFS during his campaign. Second, as part of the confirmation process, we expect several senators of both parties to forcefully educate Mr. Pruitt about the importance of ethanol to the rural states they represent. Third, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Pruitt will be bound to carry out the law of the land, meaning EPA must continue implementing the RFS [Erin Voegele and Ron Kotrba, “US President-Elect Trump Nominates Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA,” Biodiesel Magazine, 2016.12.07].
The industry is counting on Donald Trump to keep his campaign promises? That’s hilarious!
By announcing Pruitt for EPA, Trump has made the price of credits for federal biofuel blending mandates (Renewable Identification Numbers) drop 15% over the last two days. Right-wing Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa plans to grill Pruitt to ensure he supports continued government intervention in the marketplace to benefit her constituents. (Remember: Pruitt’s favored oil industry was born in even bigger government subsidies and continues to get huge corporate welfare.)
Ethanol maker Poet gave 77% more to Republicans than Democrats this cycle. Smooth move, Poet!