Congressman Jim Nussle, a Republican candidate for governor, says he expected the oil industry to oppose his call for an ethanol-only rule for Iowa gas pumps. Last week, an Iowa spokesman for the petroleum industry criticized the ethanol mandate, saying it would cause shortages of the fuel and raise the price.
Nussle disagrees. “First of all, it’s nonsense to say that in Iowa we would have shortages of ethanol,” Nussle says. “Number two, it’s not surprising at all that the petroleum industry would provide a certain amount of fear with regard to ethanol and ethanol usage…they always have. That’s been standard mantra from the petroleum industry for quite some time.”
Nussle says there’s no evidence there would be shortages of ethanol, even if more pumps in Iowa dispense E-85, the higher-concentration of ethanol. “That really is a nonsense argument and one that has been debunked over the years many times,” Nussle says. Republicans in the state legislature aren’t that enamored with Nussle’s idea, either, and Nussle acknowledges “mandates” aren’t popular with his fellow Republicans. “Really what we have now is a foreign fuel mandate,” Nussle says. “All I’m saying is that if we’re going to be talk about mandates and consumer choice, I want Iowans to be able to choose and consume Iowa energy.”
All of the major party candidates running for governor are outlining energy ideas, ranging from Nussle’s ethanol mandate to Democrat Gregg Connell’s one-billion-dollar, state-owned wind farm.