RELEASE: Opposition to Renewable Fuels behind GOP Senate Candidates’ Snub of Cherokee Forum?

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For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2013

Contact:
Christina Freundlich
515-974-1709 

Opposition to Renewable Fuels behind GOP Senate Candidates’ Snub of Cherokee Forum?

Only two candidates in seven-candidate field will participate in Cherokee forum this afternoon sponsored by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

Des Moines – All seven Iowa GOP candidates for the US Senate have been invited to participate in a forum hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association this afternoon in Cherokee, yet only two candidates – Sam Clovis and Mark Jacobs – have agreed to attend.

According to The Iowa Republican, Joni Ernst, Matt Whitaker, and David Young all had “previous engagements” scheduled and declined to participate.

Perhaps this isn’t too surprising — given Ernst and Whitaker’s stark opposition to renewable fuels policies that create Iowa jobs and expand markets for Iowa agriculture products, it would make for an awkward forum if they were to attend.  Of course, Sam Clovis’ opposition to the renewable fuels standard didn’t prevent him from attending.

“Not only is agriculture a way of life for countless Iowans, it’s vitally important to the health of Iowa’s economy, from our smallest towns to our biggest cities,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan. “Yet Joni Ernst, Matt Whitaker, and Sam Clovis all stand against the renewable fuels standard, a policy that helps create jobs in Iowa and expand markets for Iowa agriculture.  These candidates are just too extreme for Iowa, putting their allegiance to Tea Party ideology before what’s best for Iowa families.”

BACKGROUND:

QUESTION: “I would like your opinion on what the Renewable Fuel Standard has meant… what you believe you could do to make a difference on the Renewable Fuel Standard.” During a December 2013 Republican candidate forum, GOP Senate candidates were asked by an audience member, “The EPA has proposed changes in the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014. As a candidate I would like your opinion on what the Renewable Fuel Standard has meant to [inaudible], but then also as a Senator, what you see your role is and what you believe you could do to make a difference on the Renewable Fuel Standard.” [Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, 12/16/13]

Ernst: “We Want People To Choose The Products That Work For Them And Not Have them Mandated By The United States Government.” During a December 2013 Republican candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “there’s a number of things, a number of industries, out there that we need to look at, but I agree that it does have to be free market driven. I think that that is very important also, and we will get to that point someday and I’m certain of it. We want people to choose products that work for them and not have them mandated by the United States government, and we are well on our way.” [Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, 12/16/13]

Whitaker: Renewable Fuel Standard Is About The Government “Picking Winners And Losers.” During a December 2013 Republican candidate forum, candidate Matt Whitaker said: “the EPA, in and of itself, is a horrible organization. They are anti-farmer, they are anti-innovation, and they are causing a consolidation in industry, whether it’s farming or whether it’s other things. That right now in America one of the ways you compete in private industry is to have a really good compliance department. That isn’t what America is about, whether you can follow the EPA’s rules better than the competition; it is about an entrepreneurial idea that goes to market and she makes profit because she has a great idea, and that’s what we need to encourage. And until we get to that, sort of all these discussions about mandates, and subsidies, and picking winners and losers, then the federal government is just going to encourage the folks at the EPA to pass more regulations, that across the federal government, a new regulation every two and a half days.” [Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, 12/16/13]

Clovis: RFS Is “Interference In The Free Market System.” During a December 2013 Republican candidate forum, candidate Sam Clovis said: “I think one of the things let’s keep in mind here, that in 1995 when the EPA started the process of introducing Renewable Fuels Standard into our lexicon. In the decade of the 2000s we finally got legislation for the RFS. Now it’s the EPA going back and saying, ‘Hey, let’s roll back the RFS.’ The answer specifically to your question – and you know where I stand on subsidies Mark – I’m against all subsidies of all kinds because I think economically that’s interference in the free market system.” [Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, 12/16/13]

 

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