Presidential Hopeful Would Eliminate Ethanol Subsidies
by James Q. Lynch (The Gazette/AgriView) Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his energy plan that would terminate federal support for ethanol production, claiming that ending subsidies for all forms of energy would expand the market — and demand — for the corn-based fuel that is credited with supporting somewhere between 47,000 and 75,000 jobs in Iowa alone.
“You shouldn’t have government picking winners and losers,” Cruz said in Cedar Rapids, explaining he would eliminate every energy subsidy “across the board … and let energy producers compete on an open playing field.”
Ethanol, he said, is a “mature product for which there is significant demand.”
Cruz was one of five GOP presidential hopefuls at the first Rising Tide Summit hosted by FreedomWorks, a free-market advocacy group, and 1st District Rep. Rod Blum. Cruz was joined by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Cruz and Carson have come under fire by America’s Renewable Future for their positions on the Renewable Fuel Standard that sets guidelines for use of renewable fuels including ethanol.
“One doesn’t need to be a brain surgeon to see that his reversal of positions is a capitulation to the oil industry,” America’s Renewable Future said about the retired neurosurgeon.
Under his plan, Cruz said the marketplace will decide which forms of energy rise, “but we will not have the federal government putting artificial barriers in place and engaging in the cronyism of Washington picking winners and losers.”
Earlier this year Cruz indicated he would speed up that timeline for phasing out the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“That would decimate Iowa farmers and risk 73,000 Iowa jobs,” said Annette Sweeney, American Renewable Future co-chair, farmer and former state lawmaker.
Excerpt from ABC News: Trump also took aim at Cruz’s ties to big oil and his refusal to back ethanol subsidies, an important issue to Iowa voters, as ethanol production is responsible for thousands of jobs in the state.
“Everything I say, he agrees with me, but with the ethanol he’s got to come a long way cause right now he’s for the oil….I say to myself, if Ted Cruz is against ethanol, how is he winning in Iowa?” asked Trump. READ MORE