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How Pandering to Iowa’s Ethanol Lobby Hurts America

October 21, 2015

By Erik Telford

Ten years ago this month, President George W. Bush signed the Renewable Fuel Standard into law, implementing regulations that require companies to blend specific amounts of renewable fuels into gasoline. No state benefits more from the RFS than Iowa, and with the Iowa caucuses six months away, presidential candidates are already pandering, flip flopping, or avoiding the issue altogether as they attempt to woo voters.

While Iowa farmers who grow corn specifically for biofuels have greatly benefited from the RFS, ethanol and other biofuels are overwhelmingly hurting the planet and people’s pocketbooks. This crop of presidential candidates needs to keep that in mind as they continue to canvass the Hawkeye State.

It’s easy to see why politicians pander to Iowans. The last two Republicans to win the Iowa caucus, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, both supported the RFS. Candidates that have opposed the RFS—like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Rand Paul—have avoided the issue in Iowa, skipping well-attended events like the Iowa Ag Summit.

They, along with other RFS opponents like Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, are unsurprisingly outside the top three, according to the most recent polling in the state. The top three in Iowa include RFS supporters Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.* As is the case with many policy issues, it’s still unclear where polling leader Donald Trump stands on the RFS.

Read the full article at The Federalist: How Pandering To Iowa’s Ethanol Lobby Hurts America

*Note: The article is in error regarding Fiorina, she has said she wants to phase out the RFS by 2020.