Tags: Rand Paul | rand paul | iowa | biofuel | ethanol

Rand Paul Balances Anti-Mandate Stance With Iowa's Biofuel Interests

Image: Rand Paul Balances Anti-Mandate Stance With Iowa's Biofuel Interests
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By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 06:51 AM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is trying to reconcile his opposition to federal mandates while being supportive of the ethanol industry, an important interest group in Iowa.

The Republican presidential contender has introduced the "Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act" which shows him to be a friend of biofuels while not supporting mandates that obligate specified amounts of biofuels in the nation's automobile fuel mix, the National Journal reported.

The legislation, co-sponsored with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, lessens the EPA's Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules which set mileage targets for cars and light trucks that the ethanol industry finds onerous. It would also relax EPA pollution standards on gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. Current EPA rules impose a 10 percent limit on how much ethanol can be blended into gas in the summertime.

"Through competition and consumer choice, my bill will free fuel producers and automobile manufacturers to innovate and bring new products to market that can lower costs to consumers, increase domestic energy production, and benefit the environment," Paul said in a press statement.

The ethanol industry aims to preserve the Renewable Fuel Standard which since 2005 has mandated increasing amounts of biofuels in the country's motor fuel mix.

Paul is an ideological opponent of imposed federal mandates. A spokesman said he does not want the government to tell consumers or businesses what type of fuel they need to use or sell.

Ethanol industry lobbying groups have applauded Paul's bill, while environmentalist have been unenthusiastic, the Journal reported.

Other presidential candidates — mindful that Iowa is the first major electoral milestone in the 2016 presidential nominating cycle — have also staked out positions.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would altogether repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to The Des Moines Register. Both Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida governor Jeb Bush would retain the mandate with the goal of ultimately phasing it out, according to the Journal.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is an absolute backer of the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to Politico.

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is trying to reconcile his opposition to federal mandates while being supportive of the ethanol industry, an important interest group in Iowa.
rand paul, iowa, biofuel, ethanol
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2015-51-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 06:51 AM
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