Sen. Cruz: ‘I Believe the President Is Going to Stop a Broken Regulatory System From Taking the Jobs of Blue Collar Working Men and Women’
Participates in press conference with Rep. Barletta and steel workers from Monroe Energy, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, PBF Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) today participated in a press conference with workers from Monroe Energy, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and PBF Energy to discuss their efforts to find a win-win solution for both corn farmers and refinery workers, who face skyrocketing RINs prices under the renewable fuel standard (RFS).
“There are tens of thousands of jobs on the East Coast, across the country, and in my home state of Texas that depend on standing up and defending blue collar working men and women and union members,” Sen. Cruz said. “I’m proud to stand with the steelworkers who are here today. I’m proud to stand with the working men and women of this country. And I am encouraged that as we stand together, the President is going to hear and respond to the cry of the men and women who stood with him and stop a broken regulatory system from taking their jobs.”
“Today, we put a face to the name of this issue and showed the country just how important fixing the broken RINS system is for American jobs and for our nation’s economy,” said Rep. Barletta. “In Pennsylvania, we saw what extreme government regulation did to our steel mills – jobs were lost and communities were destroyed. We cannot allow that to happen again. Refineries like PES, Monroe, PBF, and Valero directly and indirectly support more than 30,000 jobs – the type of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs that Senator Cruz and I are dedicated to protecting. We will not stop fighting until there is a solution on the table that provides price certainty for our refineries.”
“We’re here standing together with the working men and women of this country. Right now in Washington there’s an argument, a battle raging. It’s a battle raging between the Washington Swamp, and the men and women of this country. I’m standing here with men and women who work at refineries here on the East Coast whose jobs are at risk - whose jobs are threatened by a broken regulatory system. That is threatening to take the jobs of union members across this country. To take the jobs of tens of thousands of working men and women.
“This all centers around what’s called a RIN. A RIN is a renewable identification number. It is a made up license from the EPA, that when it was introduce, everyone was told these things would cost just one to two cents each. For the first couple of years that’s what happened. But then the RINs system broke, and RINs skyrocketed as high as a $1.40 each. What is the consequence of that? The consequence is that you’re seeing refineries driven into bankruptcy. PES, the largest refinery on the East Coast, declared bankruptcy because of the cost of RINs. In 2010, PES paid $10 million in RINs, in regulatory costs. Last year, they paid $218 million. More than double the cost of their payroll. Now I ask you, how many businesses can afford to pay essentially regulatory fines of more than twice the cost of their payroll? This is a broken system.
“And fortunately there’s a solution. There’s a solution that is a win-win solution. There is a solution that the President has heard, has listened to, has expressed support for. The solution is capping the regulatory cost on RINs, so that the men and women behind me can keep their jobs. You’re looking at generations of working men and women – two, three generations at these refineries – that have provided for their families. That have sent their kids to college. That have paid their home mortgages. That have put food on the table. And all of these jobs are at risk.
“The critical thing to understand is of all of those billions of dollars going to RINs, none of it is going to corn farmers. That money doesn’t go to Iowa corn farmers and that money doesn’t even go to ethanol producers. That money is going primarily to Wall Street speculators and giant oil companies, predominately overseas oil companies. It doesn’t make any sense at all to be bankrupting U.S. companies, to be driving union members, working men and women, out of their jobs because of a broken regulatory system. There is a win-win solution that will allow corn farmers to sell more corn, and at the same time save the jobs of the men and women who are here.
“And we’re right in the middle of a big debate in Washington. The Washington lobbyists are pushing back hard. The Washington lobbyists have decided they don’t want to save these jobs. The Washington lobbyists are saying, ‘Don’t worry about the refinery workers, its ok if they lose their jobs, you don’t need to do anything to step in and save those jobs.’ The Washington Swamp is trying with all its might to say don’t worry about the working men and women of this country.
“But I will say I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. For one thing, it is the working men and women across this country who elected President Trump in 2016. The Washington Swamp doesn’t want to answer their concerns. But I am hopeful. I believe President Trump is going to do the right thing. That’s he’s going to hear the concerns of the jobs here that are being bankrupted by a failed regulatory system and step in.
“The President can solve this problem. The President can save these jobs. There is a win-win solution that keeps these refineries going, that doesn’t bankrupt them, and at the same time, allows corn farmers across the country to sell even more corn. The only people who lose are the Wall Street speculators, and there are plenty of other things they can speculate on. They don’t need to be speculating on things that are costing people jobs.
“There are tens of thousands of jobs on the East Coast, across the country, and in my home state of Texas that depend on standing up and defending blue collar working men and women and union members. I’m proud to stand with the steelworkers who are here today. I’m proud to stand with the working men and women of this country. And I am encouraged that as we stand together, the President is going to hear and respond to the cry of the men and women who stood with him and stop a broken regulatory system from taking their jobs.”