With days to go before the Iowa Caucuses, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has released a voter guide on issues related to ethanol. Association executive director, Monte Shaw, says the most important question is where the candidates stand on the renewable fuels standard (RFS).
“Especially with the ethanol blender’s tax credit going away at the end of 2011, the Renewable Fuels Standard is really the only policy we are going to have in place to help fight the most favored treatment that petroleum gets. Most people forget that the petroleum industry will still be getting tax credits, even though we don’t,” Shaw says.
And Shaw says that’s why it’s important to have a President who supports the RFS. He says a president could veto bills if Congress tries to get rid of the RFS or hurt it. “But there’s also waiver requests, so if we have a person who doesn’t like renewable fuels in the White House, they could order their EPA to just waive the RFS, even though their might not be a truly legitimate reason to do so.”
Shaw says three of the six Republican candidates –Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum– have expressed their support for the RFS. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Perry have not.
“To us that’s the clear dividing line between people who understand that we need to help renewable fuels compete against all of the benefits that the government is giving petroleum, otherwise you’re just going to have that oil monopoly continue,” Shaw says. An electronic version of the voter guide can be viewed at: iowansfueledwithpride.com.