Ag Policy Blog

Clinton Caught in RFS Spat

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Reuters, Bloomberg and the Hill all reported different versions of a story Wednesday questioning whether Hillary Clinton aides are looking at changing the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Reuters kicked off the controversy with an article reporting that Clinton's campaign has met with leader of the California Air Resources Board to look at California's low carbon fuel standard. Reuters stated, "The move is the clearest sign yet that, if elected, Clinton would seek to adjust the regulation, called the Renewable Fuel Standard, possibly hurting her chances in corn-growing states like Iowa where she faces a tough battle against Republican rival Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election."…

Bloomberg followed up as did Iowa media.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a statement questioning Clinton's commitment to the RFS. “The Renewable Fuel Standard has been and continues to be a tremendous success for clean air, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and support for homegrown biofuels," Grassley said. "A low carbon fuel standard, which exists in California, is an invention of those who belittle the carbon benefit of traditional corn ethanol, using a scientifically questionable rationale. Any proposal that opens up or undermines the RFS and results in less ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels is a non-starter with those of us who understand the value of renewable fuels and the potential for industry innovation to continue indefinitely.”

The Hill then followed up with its report stating "Clinton's campaign is pushing back on a report that is considering changing the federal ethanol mandate." A Clinton spokesman stated her aides met with California officials, but that does not mean she will change the 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 told the Hill.

Gayle added, “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.”…

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