NextGen Climate targets GOP Senate hopeful over ‘Big Oil’ ties

Billionaire Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Steyer's advice from son after overhearing Warren-Sanders hot mic dust-up: 'Don't be a snitch' MORE’s climate action group launched a new advertising campaign in Iowa on Friday targeting GOP Senate candidate Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSchiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk MORE for her alleged ties to oil companies and opposition to renewable fuels.

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The 30-second ad, titled “Picture” asks voters to close their eyes and “picture a neighbor down the street, his renewable energy job gone because Ernst won’t support Iowa’s homegrown industry.”

“Picture Iowa if Joni Ernst and her Big Oil backers get their way,” the ad from NextGen Climate states.

Steyer has tethered Ernest to “Big Oil” in previous ads and slammed her for attempting to “gut” the renewable fuel standard, which requires refiners blend certain amounts of ethanol and biofuel into the nation’s fuel supply.

Ethanol and biofuel are a big part of Iowa’s corn economy, and advocates argue the fuel mandate is critical to its growth.

The Iowa Republican Party has called ads run by Steyer’s political action group NextGen Climate against Ernst “blatantly false.”

In September, Ernst told members of the Iowa Farm Bureau that she supports the renewable fuel standard.

“I support biodiesel,” Ernst, a state senator said. “I guarantee I am going to be there fighting for you and Iowa agriculture, I just want to make that very clear.”

Ernst is running against Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell Braley2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D-Iowa) for the open Senate seat. The two are neck-and-neck in polls with Ernst slightly ahead.