A Republican candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture says he wants all motorists in Iowa to be putting ethanol-blended fuel in their vehicle, but Mark Leonard isn’t willing to enact a law forbidding other fuels from the marketplace. “I just have a hard time getting myself directly on a mandate bandwagon,” Leonard says. Leonard suggests there are other means to boost ethanol use. Leonard, a banker and farmer from Holstein, says he’s a Republican and mandates “aren’t first on his list for things to try.” He believes setting new state air quality standards might be one way to boost ethanol use. For example, it might require a higher-concentration of cleaner-burning ethanol in gasoline sold in Iowa — up from the current 10 percent blend. “To do those things that encourage and develop the use (of ethanol) versus mandating somebody has to do one thing or another,” Leonard says. Some have suggested ethanol use might go up if the ethanol stickers were removed from gas tanks, giving motorists just the octane levels and price to judge which fuel blend to buy.Leonard says people have a right to know what they’re buying, and he’d leave the ethanol labels on the gas pumps. Leonard formally kicked-off his campaign today (Wednesday) with events in Sioux City and Des Moines. Current Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge, a Democrat, has announced she will not seek reelection and will run for governor.
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