Jan. 2015 article
"(Iowa Gov.) Branstad helped launch a new organization called America's Renewable
Future, led by his son Eric Branstad, a GOP political strategist, and
Democratic strategist Derek Eadon, who was state director for President
Barack Obama's re-election campaign."
1/22/15, "Iowa ethanol lobby starts 2016 campaign to regain influence," AP via Fuel Fix
"Renewable-fuels advocates are promising to spend millions putting
ethanol back in the debate for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus next
year as cheap oil and setbacks in biofuels policy make the additive less
central to voters.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, backed by state corn-grower and
renewable-fuels associations and the Washington-based biofuels lobby
Growth Energy, on Thursday formed America’s Renewable Future, to make
the Renewable Fuels Standard an issue in the 2016 race. The Iowa caucus
is set for early January.
“We are designing it to look like a presidential campaign, but the
RFS is our candidate,” said Eric Branstad, the governor’s son and a
group organizer. “We’re going to be talking to people” and making the
presidential candidates respond, he said on a conference call.
Ethanol companies are wrestling with prices near a 10-year low as
crude oil and gasoline plunge. The need to lobby in the nation’s No. 1
producing state contrasts with a time when support was automatic, said
Dee Davis, president of the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg,
“We’re a country awash in cheap energy right now,” Davis said in a
telephone interview. “The marketplace is not being kind to them, so they
need to increase the drumbeat for their policies at a time when fewer
people care as much about them.”
Ethanol was pushed to help farmers cope with low corn prices more
than a decade ago. Domestic production has climbed 88 percent since a
2007 law to boost use of renewable fuels, Energy Department data show.
The pace of growth has slowed and Congress has declined to renew the
subsidies. Projections for using more so-called cellulosic ethanol never
materialized. Gasoline pump prices at the lowest since April 2009 make
ethanol less desirable.
Denatured ethanol for February delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade
this month fell to the lowest price since June 2005.
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), in Chicago, is the largest U.S.
ethanol producer, followed by Poet LLC, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,
and San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)."
Jan. 2015 article
1/22/15, "Two Branstads vow to 'educate' presidential hopefuls on RFS," Des Moines Register, Jennifer Jacobs
"Iowa leaders on Thursday threw down a warning to presidential candidates about the renewable fuel standard.
not going to prejudge any of the candidates from either party," Iowa
Gov. Terry Branstad said at a news conference at the Iowa Capitol. "We
want to educate them. We want them to support this because it's
important for Iowa. It's important for America. It's important for
Iowa advocates say the need for the mandate boils down to a matter of
market access. Biofuels and gasoline compete for a place in cars' gas
tanks. Without the RFS, which specifies how much ethanol and biodiesel
must be mixed into the country's motor fuel supply, the petroleum
industry would lock renewable fuels out of the market, they argue. The
issue is important in Iowa, the nation's leader in corn and soybean
production, because ethanol is made primarily from corn, and biodiesel
is made from soybeans and other feedstocks.
On Thursday, Branstad
helped launch a new organization called America's Renewable Future, led
by his son Eric Branstad, a GOP political strategist, and Democratic
strategist Derek Eadon, who was state director for President Barack
Obama's re-election campaign. They're pulling together Democratic and
Republican influencers who will use their clout in Iowa, home of the
first-in-the-nation vote in the presidential nomination process, to
secure a safe future for the federal mandate."...
Ben Carson in Iowa says he favors the ethanol industry:
5/10/15, Ben Carson: Let’s slash Big Oil to pay for ethanol
5/6/15, Carson in Iowa: Use oil subsidies for ethanol
Al Gore admitted in 2010 he knew ethanol was a terrible idea, but pretended to favor it to get the Iowa vote:
11/22/2010, "US corn ethanol "was not a good policy-Gore," Reuters. Al Gore: ""First generation ethanol I think was a mistake....It's hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going....One of the reasons I made that mistake is that...I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.""...