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

Billionaire Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerDemocratic candidates face hard choices as 2020 field winnows Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE’s climate action group launched a new advertising campaign in Iowa on Friday targeting GOP Senate candidate Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBill Maher says he's 'glad' David Koch is dead Five things to know about David Koch A cash advance to consider 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 BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa) for the open Senate seat. The two are neck-and-neck in polls with Ernst slightly ahead.