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Caucus-day GOP ethanol rankings

DANIEL LOOKER 01/03/2012 @ 2:35pm Business Editor

Of all the Republican candidates seeking a win in the Iowa Caucuses today, Rick Perry seems to be the least supportive of federal support for ethanol and Newt Gingrich the most supportive, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told reporters on Caucus day, January 3.

Perry has said the marketplace should determine the fuels Americans use and that none should get subsidies, Grassley said, “but he tends to talk more about alternative fuels” when he mentions cutting subsidies. Gingrich seems to bring up ethanol more often than other candidates, Grassley said.

Last Friday Gingrich said at the Wakonda Country Club in Des Moines that he supports the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates the use of ethanol and other biofuels.

The 45 cent-a-gallon tax credit for blenders who use ethanol expired at the end of last month, but the mandate that was part of a 2007 energy bill remains in effect and is considered vital by the ethanol industry.

In October, when Perry released his energy policy, it drew criticism from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. It would “lock in tax subsidies for petroleum while eliminating them for all other competing fuels,” the group’s president, Walt Wendland said in a statement.

The IRFA has been asking all of the candidates to clarify their policies on ethanol. It said that Michelle Bachman has refused to say whether or not she supports the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Of the candidates leading in the polls Romney said in mid-December in Sioux City that he supports the Renewable Fuel Standard. Ron Paul has said he does not support either subsidies ore mandates. Rick Santorum says he is a supporter of flexible fuel vehicles and the renewable fuel standard.

The IRFA has put together a voter guide on the candidates’ stands on ethanol and energy.

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