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Advisor Veronique de Rugy

Advisor Veronique de Rugy — LPA Foundation

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More Candidates Should Come Out against Cronyism on the Campaign Trail

January 11, 2016

Here is a recurring frustration during election season: Candidates who seem attractive before the race begins suddenly sound squishier or change their positions once they hit the campaign trail.

On the issue of cronyism, there is one noticeable exception during this year’s campaign. In spite of what could be perceived as a political risk, one candidate has remained true to his opposition to (and his commitment to end) the terrible renewable-fuel standard, which requires blending ethanol and other biofuels into the gasoline supply, thereby driving food prices up and creating all sorts of distortions in the energy market: That’s Senator Ted Cruz. The Wall Street Journal reports

Mr. Cruz is calling for an end to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law first passed in 2005 that requires refineries to blend an increasing amount of biofuels, including the corn-based ethanol produced here, into the U.S. gasoline supply each year.

Cruz has long been an opponent of the renewable fuel standard; he even sponsored a bill to repeal it in 2013. Since 2014 he has argued for phasing it out. He is sticking to his plan, which would end the standard by 2022. With the Iowa caucuses just weeks away, that’s brave.

America’s Renewable Future, which is now solely dedicated to attacking Mr. Cruz, is papering GOP caucus-goers’ homes with mail accusing the Texas senator of being beholden to his home-state oil industry, and it is airing countless television and radio ads urging Iowans to vote for anyone else.

I have to say that I admire Cruz’s consistency here. It is unusual in politicians and it’s important. As the Journal explains, the stakes could be high for us taxpayers. Indeed, if Cruz ends up winning in Iowa without having either supported the standard or made accommodations to the demands of America’s Renewable Future, it will signal to all the other candidates that you do not necessarily need to cater to cronyism to win there. That could mean being more honest about one’s position on the issue or being even outspoken against cronyism.

Read the full article at National Review Online: More Candidates Should Come Out against Cronyism on the Campaign Trail