Clinton campaign says it isn’t weighing ethanol mandate change

Clinton campaign says it isn’t weighing ethanol mandate change

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP struggles with retirement wave Overnight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE’s campaign is pushing back on a report that she’s considering changing the federal ethanol mandate.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Clinton aides met with California officials to discuss how the ethanol blending mandate could be changed, possibly into a requirement to use fuels that emit less carbon dioxide when burned than traditional gasoline or diesel.


The Democratic nominee’s presidential campaign said that aides met with California regulators to learn about the state’s low-carbon fuel standard, but Clinton does not want to change the federal program known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“As Hillary Clinton said repeatedly during the primary, she is committed to getting the RFS back on track and making sure the U.S. remains a leader in advanced biofuels,” spokesman Tyrone Gayle said.

“While we have engaged a wide range of stakeholders and experts throughout the campaign on biofuels and other issues, we do not support replacing the RFS with a national low-carbon fuel standard.”

The ethanol mandate has become a political third rail, since it has strong support in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating contest in every presidential election cycle.

Any signs of weakness on ethanol meet resistance from the state’s powerful corn industry, fearing that a major use for their product would be repealed. Nonetheless, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Prospects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer Ted Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report MORE (R-Texas) favors phasing the program out, and he won the GOP caucus in Iowa this year.

The mandate requires fuel refiners to blend a certain amount of ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels into their fossil fuels every year.

Clinton voted against the 2005 law that created the ethanol mandate when she was in the Senate.

But she changed her tune when she first ran for president in 2008. She said again last year that she supports the program but wants to put it “back on track” and to better encourage the use of advanced biofuels.