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Branstad Downplays Ethanol Views of Trump EPA Choice

Joyce Russell/IPR
Gov. Terry Branstad at statehouse news conference

Governor Branstad is expressing confidence that the new Donald Trump administration will be pro-ethanol, in spite of his recent pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Nominee Scott Pruitt is Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma.  

Pruitt has argued against the Renewable Fuel Standard in proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court.   The RFS mandates ethanol blends in the nation’s fuel supply.

Branstad says Pruitt is a brilliant conservative lawyer.

“But he's from an oil-producing state so obviously that gives me concern,” Branstad said at his weekly statehouse news conference.

Branstad said he visited with President-elect Donald Trump about the nomination before Trump’s Thank You Rally in Des Moines last week.

He's from an oil-producing state

"First thing Trump told me is don't worry about him he's going to be for ethanol,” Branstad said. 
“I think that was a condition that he laid out when he appointed him.  And that was reassuring to me and obviously to my son.”

Eric Branstad leads a pro-ethanol group and headed up Donald Trump’s Iowa campaign.   The younger Branstad campaigned for Trump in the battleground state of Wisconsin as well.

Ethanol backers have also expressed concern about Trump’s choice to head the Department of Energy, Rick Perry, who’s the former governor of Texas, another oil-producing state, and who has also criticized the ethanol mandate.   

During the 2012 presidential campaign Perry called for the elimination of the Department of Energy.