A governor and his son lobby for ethanol – and expect presidential candidates to endorse it
by Paul Driessen
Talk about the Norfolk terrier tail wagging the Great Dane. If they are to have any hope of winning their party’s nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls better support ethanol mandates, Hawkeye State politicos told potential candidates at the recent Iowa Agricultural Summit in Des Moines.
“Don’t mess with the RFS,” Republican Governor Terry Branstad warned, referring to Renewable Fuel Standards that require refiners to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline. “It is the Holy Grail, and I will defend it,” said Rep. Steve King, another Iowa Republican. It is vital for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preventing dangerous climate change and weather extremes, said others.
Corn ethanol is big in Iowa, the March 7-8 Ag Summit kicked off the state’s 2016 election debates, big-time GOP donor Bruce Rastetter made his fortune from ethanol and hosted the event, and the first presidential primary will be held in Iowa. Moreover, Gov. Branstad’s son Eric directs the multi-million-dollar America’s Renewable Future campaign, which co-sponsored the summit and hopes to convince increasingly skeptical voters that the federal government must retain the RFS or even expand it. (more…)