GOP Rep. Steve King defends biofuels, opposes government intervention

King has in the past supported the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which requires refiners to blend 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol into traditional transportation fuel this year. Iowa produces more corn ethanol than any state in the nation.

But Republicans have criticized the RFS as a government mandate that gives a pulse to a technology that could not survive on its own.

The Hill, in checking with King’s office to get a clarification on his comments, was told by an aide that he was set to introduce GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — who supports the RFS — at an Iowa event.

King has disregarded his anti-interventionist stance when it benefits his constituents before.

He, like other Iowa Republicans, wants to extend a 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour tax incentive for wind production that many Republicans oppose. Iowa, as it happens, has about 7,000 workers in the wind sector and has the second-most wind electriciy generation capacity.

President Obama supports extending the incentive, which expires Dec. 31. Romney wants to let it end.

Obama is hoping he can appeal to Iowans on energy. He has visited the swing state, which he won in 2008, on two separate occasions in recent weeks and has launched an advertisement there touting the wind industry.