Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says he supports the so-called ethanol mandate — now that it’s in place, but he favors letting it expire seven years from now.
“The Renewable Fuels Standard is not something that I would have voted for had I been in the senate, but it is now existing law and I think it would be unfair to simply yank it away from people that have made investments based on its existence,” Rubio says. “So my argument is we should allow it to continue until it expires and hopefully by then the industry will be able to sustain itself.”
The Renewable Fuels Standard is set to end in 2022. The Obama Administration has a November 30th deadline to release the federally-required ethanol production levels not only for 2016, but this year and last year, too, since previous deadlines were missed.
Rubio has just wrapped up a five-day tour of the state. During a stop this week in Carroll, Rubio argued expanding overseas trade is important to rural America. Rubio, who is a senator from Florida, says the Trans Pacific Partnership could unlock consumer markets like Japan where some U.S. agricultural products aren’t sold.
“I’ve seen the impact that the South Korean deal has had on Florida citrus,” Rubio says. “It’s been very positive for Florida citrus growers and I would imagine that to open it up to all of the Asia-Pacific region to more export would be more profitable not just to them, but to all agriculture across the country.”
Rubio isn’t commiting to voting for the trade agreement, though.
“I support free trade,” Rubio says. “I want to support a Trans Pacific Partnership. Whether this specific one they’ve negotiated is the right one for our country, we’re in the process of reviewing that.”
Congress must vote to either ratify or reject the Trans Pacific Partnership. A date for that vote is not yet scheduled.
(Reporting by Chantelle Grove, KCIM, Carroll’ additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)