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Presidential hopefuls have shown support for the renewable fuels standard, or moved in that direction. Here's a look at the issue through a range of media sources.

February 1, 2016

6 Min Read

As Iowans head to the polls today, the importance of ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard is recognized in how the candidates have positioned themselves on the issue.


 “The fact is that every presidential candidate is either supportive of the RFS or has moved in that direction,” said Eric Branstad, America’s Renewable Fuel Iowa state director. “That’s because they’ve been listening to the issues that Iowans care about. Throughout this election cycle, we’ve seen how important this issue is to Iowans with overwhelming grassroots support — tens of thousands of Iowa voters have pledged to caucus for a pro-RFS candidate — and an independent poll found that 61% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats support the RFS and candidates who support the RFS.”?

Here's a look at what's being reported across a range of media on this issue.

U.S. News & World Report: Cruz's Corn Crisis | 01/22/2016
By any measure, the Cruz campaign is in serious trouble in Iowa. A new CNN poll of Iowa Republicans puts Donald Trump ahead of Cruz by a stunning 11-point margin. Worse yet, the state's immensely popular governor has called on Iowans to vote for anybody but Cruz. And many Iowa farmers now see Cruz as a threat to their livelihood. Cruz loyalists privately concede that Branstad's anti-endorsement poses a lethal threat to the Texan's campaign in Iowa.
NBC News: Cruz Firms Up Stance on Controversial Iowa Issue | 01/07/2016
After a flurry of pushback by Iowa farmers and negative ads directed his way, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz shored up his position this week on a key agricultural issue in the state, falling closer in line to the desires of Iowa farmers. Cruz told roomfuls of Iowans at stops along his six-day statewide bus tour that he opposes the immediate elimination of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law the agricultural industry views as crucial to the state's economy.
MSNBC: Morning Joe | 01/26/2016
“Until Governor Branstad last week, I didn’t know where Ted Cruz stood on ethanol. Now I do, and it’s a concern for me and something that I need to research more and figure out where he is on this issue because it’s a voting issue for her.”
NBC: What to Watch on the GOP Side Just One Week Out From Iowa Caucus | 01/25/2016
Cruz massaged his position slightly this month by clarifying he would phase the RFS out over five years rather than immediately. Sensing an opening, Trump has openly embraced the RFS and even called for requiring more ethanol.

The Hill: Iowa GOP chairman: Cruz ethanol stance ‘a factor’ in caucuses | 01/24/2016
The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s opposition to ethanol is a “factor” among Iowan voters. “It’s an important issue out here,” Jeff Kauffman told host John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on New York’s AM-970 on Sunday.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Cruz runs into trouble over ethanol – the 3rd rail of Iowa | 01/19/2016
Gov. Terry Branstad did not endorse any GOP rival but singled out Cruz for his opposition to federal support for ethanol, a corn-based fuel that advocates say is crucial for jobs in the corn-producing state. The issue had the potential to hurt Cruz in Iowa as much as or more than the endorsement Tuesday of rival Donald Trump by tea party icon Sarah Palin. Ethanol is politically potent in Iowa, where one advocacy group estimates 73,000 people have jobs associated with it.
CNN: Iowa governor wants Ted Cruz defeated | 01/19/2016
Cruz's stance on ethanol subsidies has emerged a significant vulnerability for the senator in Iowa, a state where farming and agriculture are hugely influential industries. His rivals -- particularly Donald Trump -- have been hitting Cruz hard for his opposition to ethanol subsidies, and voters here have expressed concerns about Cruz's rejection of ethanol subsidies.
Huffington Post: The Issue That Could Sink Ted Cruz In Iowa | 01/07/2016
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been forced to clarify his stance on ethanol, an important industry in Iowa, as he crisscrosses the state less than one month before its first-in-nation presidential caucuses. Cruz, who has been asked about the issue at every single stop on his six-day barnstorming tour across the state, has insisted he is not against ethanol and denied switching his position on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Fox News: Huckabee in Iowa: 99 counties, 25 days and one last chance | 01/07/2016
Cruz looks to clarify his seemingly shifting stance on federal subsidies on ethanol

Des Moines Register: Ethanol questions dog Ted Cruz in Iowa | 01/07/2016
No matter where he goes, Cruz is followed by questions about where he stands on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, seen by many Iowa farmers and the state's ethanol industry as a crucial component for their business.
Washington Post: Ted Cruz, under siege in Iowa, tries to play ‘underdog’ | 01/25/2016
Cruz’s vow to phase out the renewable fuel standard alienated the powerful ethanol industry here, which relies on the federal subsidy. Branstad, an industry advocate, said last week that a Cruz win would be “very damaging” for Iowa. He doubled down Monday on his comments.
Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who has not endorsed any of the GOP presidential candidates for president, said at a renewable fuels conference near Des Moines that Iowans should reject Cruz because he supports phasing out the fuel standard. His comments, which come within two weeks of the state's critical Feb. 1 caucus, could resonate with state farmers who grow the corn used in ethanol, and the soybeans widely used in biodiesel or risk getting trounced at the Iowa caucuses.
CNN: Ted Cruz struggles with ethanol subsidy opposition in Iowa | 01/07/2016
In recent days, he has tried to finesse the complicated politics, and at least try to avoid angering voters.
Salon: I just watched Donald Trump win the Iowa caucus: Inside the one rally that sealed the deal | 01/25/2016
While not an endorsement, last week, Gov. Terry Branstad told reporters he wanted to see Ted Cruz lose because of his opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and his ties to the oil industry.
Grist: Why is ethanol-loving Iowa embracing ethanol-hating Ted Cruz? | 01/25/2016
Iowa farmer David Ausberger had thought he was close to making up his mind about who he’d support in his state’s presidential caucus. “Both my wife and I were leaning toward Ted,” he told me. “Now I guess maybe we gotta go back to the drawing board.”
Bloomberg: Cruz Wins Praise from Pro-Ethanol Group Protesting Him | 01/06/2016
At stops Tuesday afternoon and evening in northwest Iowa, the junior senator from Texas expressed support for continuing the federal Renewable Fuel Standard through 2022 because there have been "investment-backed expectations" made by the ethanol industry.

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