America’s Renewable Future releases midterm report card on presidential candidates’ RFS stands | TSLN.com

America’s Renewable Future releases midterm report card on presidential candidates’ RFS stands

America's Renewable Future, a pro-ethanol group attempting to make the Renewable Fuel Standard a key issue in the Iowa caucuses, today issued a "midterm report" on presidential candidates and their stands on the RFS.

Getting "good" marks were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley and Republicans Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Lindsay Graham, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and George Pataki.

Republican candidates Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich got "needs work" grades, while Republican candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal were all listed as "bad."

Listings of the candidates on the organization's website tells how each ranking was determined.

“The midterm grades helped me. The same can be said for the candidates in this midterm report.” Terry Branstad, Republican governor of Iowa

America's Renewable Future did not suggest that renewable fuels supporters decide on a candidate now based on its ratings, but that they should put pressure on the candidates to support ethanol.

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Eric Branstad, the Republican consultant who co-heads the organization, likened the report card to a time in high school when he got a low grade in geometry.

"The midterm report card came home and what I needed to do was loud and clear," said Branstad, the son of Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

"The midterm grades helped me," Branstad said. "The same can be said for the candidates in this midterm report."

The "good" rating indicates consistent support for the RFS, the "needs work" means inconsistent support, and the "bad" rating means that the candidate is against the RFS, Branstad said.

He also noted that America's Renewable Futures is scheduled to take Trump to visit an ethanol plant this week.

"There is nothing better than getting to an ethanol plant and seeing what a plant does and seeing the Main Street Iowa investment that is there," Branstad said, adding that America's Renewable Future will also "thank" Trump for his stand so far.

Derek Eadon, the Democratic consultant who co-heads the organization, explained that America's Renewable Future has been working with candidates for a year, but also has been trying to make sure that Iowa voters understand that the winners of their state's caucuses "could affect Iowa's economy for years to come."

Eadon said the group has made more than 7,000 phone calls to alert Iowa voters to the importance of the issue and recruit volunteers.

"We went to every political event you can imagine," Eadon added.

–The Hagstrom Report

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