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March 13, 2015

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Discuss RFS At 2015 Iowa Ag Summit


On March 7, 2015, the 2015
Iowa Ag Summit
brought together several
Republican Presidential hopefuls to discuss agricultural issues
including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), in the United States. The
potential candidates present at the summit included former Governor Jeb Bush
(R-FL), Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Lindsey
Graham (R-SC), former Governor George Pataki (R-NY), former Governor Mike
Huckabee (R-AR), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), and former Governor Rick
Perry (R-TX). Walker, Bush, and Graham all stated that they supported the RFS,
with Walker stating that he “believes in a free and open market … but it
is an access issue, so it is something that I am willing to go forward on,
continuing the RFS.” Graham also appreciated how the RFS has improved the
United States’ energy independence. Cruz and Perry both support biofuels but
Cruz does not think that the federal government should allow the market to
dictate what renewable energy sources succeed, while Perry stated that biofuels
are more of a state issue than a federal issue. Generally, the potential
candidates seemed to be pro-biofuels, a stance that was very popular at the
Iowa Ag Summit. Many Iowa farmers produce crops that are used as biomass to
make biofuels and renewable chemicals. While many of the possible candidates
indicated their support for biofuels, they were generally more restrained in
their support for the RFS, with some suggesting that the RFS should only be
used in the short term or that the RFS should be re-worked on a state level, or
changed so that implementation was encouraged but voluntary.