GOP presidential hopefuls discuss RFS at 2015 Iowa Ag Summit

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On March 7, 2015, the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit brought together several Republican Presidential hopefuls to discuss agricultural issues, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), in the United States. The potential candidates present at the summit included former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Governor George Pataki (R-NY), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), and former Governor Rick Perry (R-TX). Walker, Bush, and Graham all stated that they supported the RFS, with Walker stating that he 'believes in a free and open market ... but it is an access issue, so it is something that I am willing to go forward on, continuing the RFS.' Graham also appreciated how the RFS has improved the United States' energy independence. Cruz and Perry both support biofuels but Cruz does not think that the federal government should allow the market to dictate what renewable energy sources succeed, while Perry stated that biofuels are more of a state issue than a federal issue. Generally, the potential candidates seemed to be pro-biofuels, a stance that was very popular at the Iowa Ag Summit. Many Iowa farmers produce crops that are used as biomass to make biofuels and renewable chemicals. While many of the possible candidates indicated their support for biofuels, they were generally more restrained in their support for the RFS, with some suggesting that the RFS should only be used in the short term or that the RFS should be re-worked on a state level, or changed so that implementation was encouraged but voluntary.

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