The “first in the nation” Iowa caucuses will be held Monday evening across the state. There are many candidates vying for the chance to take on the incumbent President Donald Trump in November. The biofuels industry has had a seesaw relationship with President Trump. He worked to implement year-round sales of E-15, but couldn’t get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep its word after an oval office meeting about small refinery exemptions. Are the candidates seeing this, and what are their plans to work with the biofuels sector?
As candidates crisscross the state, a former U.S. Senator turned co-chair with Americans for Energy Security and Innovation looks at their plans for the biofuels industry. Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent has a strong connection to the stability of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). He helped author it.
In the past few years, we have witnessed two EPA administrators in the Trump Administration hand out small refinery exemptions like they are candy. Talent says this is information the Democratic candidates are using in the campaign. However, he is not seeing any plans from the candidates that put him at ease about their plans to uphold the RFS either.
Talent says an EPA that isn’t supporting the President’s biofuels plans is not serving him going into an election season. Many rural voters, especially in Iowa have felt the effects of the EPA’s granting of waivers as we see plants that are either operating at reduced levels or shut down altogether.
Talent says the candidates who have been making the most mention of the state of the biofuels industry, are the ones that seem to be enjoying the view from the top side of the polls. This means they’re getting their message to rural Iowa voters in an era when the rural voice cannot be overlooked. Talent says, of course, polls can always change and we won’t know for certain whose message has been better embraced until the dust settles on Monday night.
So, in the end, some of the candidates are taking notice of the state of the biofuels industry. Like with any topic which is important to you, research the candidates. Take a long look at their positions on rural America, agriculture, and the biofuels industry.