Grassley Sees Clinton Wavering on Renewable Fuels

Aug 9, 2016

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is questioning Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's commitment to ethanol.

Grassley says Clinton has been exploring an energy policy in California that focuses on carbon reduction and relies upon a market strategy. That contrasts with the existing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates production of ethanol and other bio-based fuels. The RFS has been a boon to Corn Belt farmers.

Grassley says Clinton could be considering replacing the RFS with something based on the California law. And he says that conflicts with Clinton's stated support of the RFS during the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses, when she wrote an op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

"But if she told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that she is supporting RFS, and now she's looking for a way out of supporting it," Grassley says, "then she's not the pro-ethanol [candidate] that she wants us to believe."

The Clinton campaign told the news agency Reuters that the candidate doesn't support replacing the RFS, but did confirm that the campaign has spoken with the California Air Resources Board about that state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Grassley says Republican candidate Donald Trump's support for the RFS has been unwavering.

Grassley says he still supports Trump

Regarding Grassley's support of Trump, some have questioned why Iowa's senior senator hasn't attended any of the three rallies the GOP presidential nominee has held in Iowa since the Republican National Convention. But Grassley says he does support the candidate. 

Though many Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump, Grassley says that’s not the case with him.

"Listen, all you got to do is go to one of my town meetings," says Grassley. "I don’t know whether these are people that are Republicans thinking that I am not backing Trump, or it’s Democrats that want to get me on the trackers’ records. But I’m asked at almost every town meeting, 'Am I supporting Trump?’ And of course I’ve announced that a couple months ago."

Grassley says the next event he and Trump will likely both attend is Senator Joni Ernst’s second annual “Roast and Ride” fundraiser. He adds, it's too far into the future to know whether he’ll attend any Trump rallies in September and October.