December 20, 2014

Perry wants a “level playing field” & an end to ethanol mandate (audio)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says it’s time for the federal government to quit picking winners and losers, and that includes federal efforts to boost the ethanol industry.

Perry, the governor of oil-rich Texas, opposes the federal “renewable fuels standard” which requires a certain amount of corn-based ethanol be produced in the U.S. each year.

“I’d like to see a level playing field for all of the energy producers in this country,” Perry told reporters in Iowa tonight.

Iowa corn farmers support the federal rule which requires an increasing volume of ethanol be produced through 2015. Perry told reporters tonight that he supports “all of the sources of energy” that are out there, including so-called biofuels like ethanol, but he’s against the federal government requiring a certain amount of ethanol be produced each year.

“We don’t need to have government picking winners and losers in this business,” Perry said during a news conference in Des Moines. “Let the folks get out there with the regulations off their back. I have a good idea that the farmers in Iowa can compete with anybody in the world.”

Perry’s view on ethanol is echoed by many “Tea Party” activists who have complained about tax breaks for ethanol and other industries and who have harshly criticized federal bail-outs for Wall Street and American automakers.  Ethanol producers say they’re willing to give up their federal subsidies if federal tax advantages for the oil industry are abolished, too.