RFS Roundup: New Group Wants RFS to Take Center Stage in Iowa Caucus

Source: Jessie Stolark, EESI • Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015

Speaking at a news conference on January 22, Governor Branstad (R-IA) commented about the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to both Iowa and the United States.  The event marked the beginning of a new initiative, America’s Renewable Future, led by Eric Branstad, Gov. Branstad’s son and GOP strategeist, and Derek Eadon, Iowa state director for President Obama’s re-election campaign.  The group seeks to use the Iowa presidential caucus as an opportunity to educate presidential hopefuls and voters on the importance of the RFS to increasing the use of renewable fuels.  Past primary candidates, such as Gov. Perry (R-TX), and Sen. Cruz (R-TX), have previously called for a repeal of the RFS.

Speaking at the announcement of the new initiative Gov. Branstad stated, “We’re not going to prejudge any of the candidates from either party … We want to educate them.  We want them to support this [the RFS] because it’s important for Iowa.  It’s important for America.  It’s important for jobs.”  The last time there were no incumbents in a presidential race was 2007.  According to Gov. Branstad, “Since that time, Iowa has built 17 new biorefineries, we’ve doubled ethanol production, we’ve tripled biodiesel production and we have now launched commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol in this state.” Other potential Republican presidential hopefuls, such as Mitt Romney, and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), support the Renewable Fuel Standard, but also want the standard to be slowly phased out as the industry grows.