In Iowa, Rubio offers lukewarm support for RFS

Source: Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 30, 2015

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, gave tepid support to the federal renewable fuel standard yesterday in Iowa as he campaigns throughout the state ahead of the Feb. 1 caucus.

Though Rubio did not throw his full support behind the policy that mandates an increasing amount of biofuels in the U.S. fuel supply through 2022, he said the administration should maintain the RFS as passed by Congress.

“On the renewable fuel standards, look, I’ve been very blunt, I don’t like government doing all these things,” Rubio told an audience at a town hall meeting in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “If I had been in the Senate at the time, I would not have supported it. But it’s now the law. It’s in place.”

The statement was applauded by America’s Renewable Future (ARF), a pro-biofuels campaign.

“Sen. Rubio’s comments show that he has spent time learning about this issue, and we’re glad to see that he understands that the government needs to keep a promise to the Main Street investments made with the RFS,” said former Iowa state Rep. Annette Sweeney (R), an ARF co-chairwoman. “We’re also thankful that he is committed to supporting the law through 2022 and certainly hope to hear more from him on the topic.”

ARF released a scorecard on the presidential election earlier this month, ranking Rubio as a candidate that “needs work” when it comes to boosting his support for the policy.

Rubio canceled his appearance at an agriculture summit earlier this year in Des Moines, Iowa, in which many Republican candidates voiced their positions on the RFS (E&E Daily, March 9).