Editorial

Iowa should continue its influence

Monday, June 29, 2015

Every four years, politicians try to appease the citizens of Iowa by promising to work for the issues important to the first-in-the-nation participants in the presidential nomination process. Call this political pandering if you like, but it's the best opportunity ordinary Iowans have to be heard by policy makers at the federal level.

This political capital has primarily been used to establish and preserve incentives for bio-fuels and wind energy development.

The use of energy sources other than fossil fuels is good policy, not only for Iowans for the nation. It is good geo-politically, economically and environmentally.

The growing of grains for fuel, actually the growing of row crops in general, has come under attack as dangerous to the environment.

It is true that fertilizer run-off can cause excessive algae growth that can be harmful to other freshwater and marine organisms. Conservation practices need to be used to limit both soil erosion and plant nutrient run-off. However, to criticize bio-fuels as equivalent or greater in environmental damage potential as the production, transport and use of fossil fuels is irresponsible.

Several Republican presidential candidates have come out in favor of eliminating or phasing out the Renewable Fuel Standard including Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal. Bush said that both the Renewable Fuel Standard and the wind production tax credit should be eliminated.

Iowans need to stand up for renewable fuels.