Ethanol group hits Cruz in Iowa

Ethanol group hits Cruz in Iowa
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An Iowa-based ethanol group is running advertisements against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTexas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' Moore endorsements disappear from campaign website MORE, just as the GOP presidential hopeful's campaign is gaining steam in the Hawkeye State.

The ads from America’s Renewable Future criticize Cruz’s position against the federal mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline, saying the Texas Republican has chosen the oil industry over Iowa farmers.

The program requiring the blending, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, is extraordinarily popular in corn-heavy Iowa, the first state with a presidential nominating contest. The attack campaign comes as polls show Cruz on the rise there.

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“Politicians like Ted Cruz support subsidies for Big Oil but want to end support for ethanol,” says the radio ad released Tuesday. “Cruz backs policies that threaten rural Iowa and thousands of jobs.”

Cruz, the group says, has hundreds of thousands of dollars personally invested in the oil industry, and the PACs supporting him have gotten more than $25 million from oil.

“Politicians like Ted Cruz are the worst kind: hypocrites,” it says. “He says he’s a conservative but doesn’t want to do anything to stop the $4.8 billion in subsidies received by the oil industry.”

In addition to radio, the statewide campaign will include digital media, direct mail and grassroots advocacy, said Majda Sarkic, a spokeswoman for America’s Renewable Future.

The campaign was launched the day after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved an ethanol mandate for 2016 that reduces blending volumes below what Congress intended, though it is higher than previous years.

Cruz has said that he does not believe the federal government should mandate biofuels.

“I don’t think Washington should be picking winners and losers,” Cruz said in March. “When it comes to energy, we should have an all of the above approach, but it should be driven by the market.”

America’s Renewable Future was launched for the 2016 campaign season in an effort to increase ethanol’s role in the election.

While the Cruz ad is not the first campaign the program has undertaken, Sarkic said it is more aggressive than past ones.