Donald Trump says he will look to Branstad for ethanol advice

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, May 27, 2016

Donald Trump, who clinched the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, said he would look to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for advice on ethanol policy going into 2022, when some lawmakers seek to end federal government supports.

“We’re going to meet with the governor of Iowa. He’s a tremendous guy and a friend of mine, and we’re going to talk about it,” said Trump at a press conference before a major energy speech in North Dakota.

The Renewable Fuel Standard, a mandate that requires ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply, outlines annual targets for renewable fuel use that increase through 2022.

Some federal lawmakers have pushed to end it sooner. Trump said broadly: “A lot of people want that to happen, and we will be making a decision soon.”

Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said the governor has no immediate plan to meet with Trump.

“It’s not surprising that Mr. Trump would want to meet with the governor of the state that’s the nation’s largest producer of corn ethanol,” Hammes said.

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said Trump has shown continued support for ethanol, both in Iowa and in other states.

“If his chief adviser is Gov. Terry Branstad, I feel pretty good. There’s no governor that’s done more to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard and promote renewable fuels,” Shaw said.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, said he’s recommended to the Trump campaign that it should let two popular government programs — the Renewable Fuel Standard and production tax credit for wind power — expire.

At the press conference, Trump called for cutting regulations that restrict industries and hamper job growth, and support for the Keystone XL pipeline.