Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. According to Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report, Senator Ted Cruz will keep a hold Northey’s nomination until President Donald Trump organizes a meeting on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Cruz and eight other senators want to work out a compromise on the RFS to protect refiners from job losses.
“We are working to sit down with the administration and discuss a solution to the RFS that addresses the concerns of the agriculture community, but also avoids devastating job losses among refiners,” Cruz told Politico.
The senator is using the hold to get back at biofuels after Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst used their power to get EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to back off lowering numbers in the RFS.
Last week, Cruz wrote to Trump asking for a meeting to be held within three weeks. They chose three weeks because EPA must finalize RFS numbers by Nov. 30. This rule sets biofuel blending requirements. Pruitt promises he will release the numbers on time.
Northey is nominated for farm production and conservation undersecretary. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds called Cruz’s hold “very disappointing.”