Ted Cruz arrives to speak at King's Christian Bookstore
in Boone, Iowa, on Monday. AP
Politics: Ethanol has long been the dead man's pass of presidential politics: No one makes it through Iowa without paying homage to the corn-based fuel now a $5 billion state industry. But this year may be different.
Ted Cruz is leading the Republican polls in the Hawkeye State despite his opposition to the federal mandate requiring gasoline to be blended with 10% ethanol. He considers the mandate to be a form of corporate welfare — which it is.
The Agriculture Department program that requires the blending is known as E10. The industry is now lobbying for a 15% mandate, or E15.
At that level, ethanol could seriously damage car engines while raising costs at the gas pump. Recent studies have also questioned whether there's any environmental benefit to ethanol, and even many green groups oppose forcing people to put corn in their tank.
The original rationale for ethanol mandates and subsidies was it was good for the environment. Under the program, the ethanol industry received as much as $6 billion-per-year through an Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.
That was eliminated a few years ago but the blending mandate lives on. Worse, Obama wants to renew ethanol taxpayer subsidies to reduce climate change.Read the rest of this IBD editorial HERE.
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