83% of Iowa Caucus-Goers Voted for Pro-RFS Candidates

Source: By Anna McConnell, Agriculture.com • Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

After Iowa’s 2016 presidential caucus, the renewable fuels industry is feeling positive about the support gained for the the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Of the 14 presidential candidates, 12 became supporters of the RFS by the time February 1, 2016 rolled around.

“In 2016, 83% of Iowans supported pro-RFS candidates. In contrast with 2012’s caucus, a higher share of the vote went to pro-RFS candidates,” said Eric Branstad, state director of America’s Renewable Future.

Although the Republican caucus winner, Ted Cruz, is one of only two presidential hopefuls that has been vocally anti-RFS, the organization remains positive about his softening toward ethanol. Cruz recently committed to repealing subsidies for the oil industry, which the renewable fuels industry saw as distancing himself from big oil.

The ethanol industry feels that real farmers were asking quality questions about renewable fuels up until the Iowa caucus, which says a lot for the importance of the RFS.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done in educating candidates on the benefits of the RFS and that the vast majority of them were good on the issue or moved to be good,” Branstad said. “We’re incredibly proud of the success we’ve had with candidates recognizing the benefits to our economy, national security, and environment, and it’s something that will be key in the General Election.”

Starting out their campaigns, only two Republicans were known to support the RFS. All but two Republican candidates were outwardly anti-RFS in the end. In both 2012 and 2016, all Democratic candidates were pro-RFS.

The other presidential candidate who does not support the RFS is Republican Rand Paul, who received 4.5% of the Iowa Republican caucus votes. Ted Cruz received 27.7% of the total Republican caucus votes in Iowa.

America’s Renewable Future fights for the RFS to keep the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, helping support 852,000 U.S. jobs, and using a cleaner and less expensive fuel.