A group opposed to the federal ethanol mandate is taking its message to Iowa, the nation’s leading ethanol producer.
The American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), a D.C.-based free market group, will begin airing ads in Iowa next week warning about the environmental impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The group went on the air in several states last year, including Indiana and Ohio — a notable move, given that both states are in the top 10 nationally in ethanol production.
But Iowa, an agriculture-heavy state, leads the nation in ethanol production, and the state’s voters routinely back supporters of the RFS in their first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, which take place Feb. 1.
The group published a poll Friday questioning the issue’s reach in the state. According to the survey, most Iowans don’t consider the ethanol mandate a top-three issue, and half of the state’s voters said they do not care much or at all about the RFS.
“For as long as anyone can remember, conventional political wisdom dictated that candidates had no choice but to support ever-expanding corn ethanol mandates to win in Iowa,” said David Banks, executive vice president of ACCF.
“Unfortunately, they forgot to ask actual Iowans what they thought about it. As this polling makes clear, not only aren’t folks in the nation’s largest corn-producing state paying particularly close attention to the back-and-forth over the RFS, they’re definitely not using it as some sort of litmus test in determining who to vote for.”
Regardless, politicians in Iowa have engaged in ethanol politics so far this cycle.
Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzKasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 Trump in campaign mode at NRA convention Trump’s hands are tied on 9th Circuit MORE has been hit hard by ethanol groups in the state for his plan to phase out the RFS, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said the week that voters shouldn’t support Cruz because of his position on ethanol.