Branstad Says Americans “Bamboozled” About Ethanol
Date posted - August 7, 2012
Last week, U.S. livestock producers petitioned the federal government to lift the “renewable fuel standard” for ethanol. The farmers complained they have to compete with ethanol plants for scarce and very expensive corn to feed their livestock. When a reporter asked Governor Terry Branstad about that complaint, Branstad pulled out a crumpled piece of paper that he’d been carrying in his pocket. “Let me explain something,” Branstad said as he unfolded the paper and flattened to out. According to the calculations on that piece of paper, the net amount of corn acres that went into ethanol production in the U.S. was 16 percent last year. And Branstad says ethanol production has declined by at least 12 percent since the drought. The governor maintains a “small percentage” of the U.S. corn crop is being turned into ethanol.
More than 150 members of the U.S. House and seven United States senators co-authored a letter last week urging federal officials to waive the renewable fuels standard — and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Turkey Federation, the Meat Institute and other livestock groups have praised the effort. Iowa’s governor is siding with corn farmers and blasting the idea.
Last week Branstad blasted “a bunch of east coast people” on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign for steering Romney to oppose extending the wind production tax credit. Today (Monday), Branstad said loss of that tax credit would stop the “momentum” in Iowa that has led to reducing the cost of producing wind energy “dramatically.”
Branstad is trying to “talk personally” with Romney.
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