Donald Trump. (KCRG TV photo)

Former President Donald Trump says a likely challenger for the G-O-P’s 2024 presidential nomination will not support the ethanol industry. Trump points to the bill Florida Governor Ron DeSantis co-sponsored when he represented Florida in congress — a bill to get rid of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

“OK, so remember this: Ron DeSanctis — did anyone ever hear of DeSanctis, DeSanctimonious, no? — Ron DeSanctis strongly opposed ethanol,” Trump said in Davenport last night. “Did anyone ever hear that?”

Trump has pledged to promote the ethanol industry if he’s reelected and he’s suggesting DeSantis would get rid of the federal ethanol production mandate and the requirement that ethanol be blended into gasoline.

“He strongly opposed ethanol and fought against it at every turn and he’s going to do that again because people that come out early for something, that’s the way they go,” Trump said.

Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz tangled over the ethanol issue in the weeks leading up the 2016 Iowa Caucuses, which Cruz won. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw said presidential candidates can start campaigning here with “a blank slate” when it comes to ethanol. “We’re not going to hold too much to what they might have done six or seven years ago when they had a different role, a different perspective,” Shaw told Radio Iowa, “and quite frankly a different duty to that office.”

But Shaw said presidential candidates have a duty to come up with a national energy strategy and it should include ethanol. “A lot of those folks have probably never been to Iowa or the Midwest very much, certainly haven’t been into an ethanol plant,” Shaw said, “and so we want them to come here, learn, so what we can do firsthand and then hear what they have to say for a national energy plan and that’s generally what we judge them on.”

DeSantis was in Davenport and Des Moines last Friday and he said it was his first trip to the state.

Radio Iowa