Group says Clinton signals support for RFS 

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton yesterday signaled support for the renewable fuel standard, the federal policy that requires refiners to use corn ethanol and advanced biofuels, said a pro-RFS group based in Iowa.

According to America’s Renewable Future, the former secretary of State made comments in support of the RFS at a private meeting in Marshalltown, Iowa. Clinton is in the Hawkeye State after officially announcing her campaign for the presidency Sunday.

“We had the opportunity to talk about issues facing Iowa, renewable fuels being one of them,” said Patty Judge, a former Iowa lieutenant governor and co-chair of America’s Renewable Future. “Secretary Clinton was extremely receptive, and I feel encouraged by her comments about the renewable fuel standard.”

America’s Renewable Future formed earlier this year with the goal of making ethanol and the renewable fuel standard a top issue in the Iowa presidential caucuses. Iowa is the nation’s top ethanol-producing state, but the RFS will be competing against a host of social and domestic issues for top billing at the caucuses.

The new coalition is backed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), Iowa renewable fuels groups and the national ethanol trade group Growth Energy (E&ENews PM, Jan. 22).

In 2005, as a senator from New York, Clinton voted against final passage of the legislation that created the original RFS. However, she voted to greatly expand the RFS in 2007. On the campaign trail during her first presidential candidacy, she expressed support for the policy.

“I was able to thank Secretary Clinton for her past support of the RFS, and I am confident future conversations will be just as positive,” said Iowa Corn Growers board member Bruce Rohwer, who also attended the meeting yesterday in Marshalltown.

Last month, Republican presidential contenders visiting Iowa to attend the first Iowa Agriculture Summit were divided on their views of the role of government in the biofuels industry (E&E Daily, March 9). Clinton and other potential Democratic presidential contenders were invited but did not attend.