Editorial

Cruz is wrong on ethanol

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Despite what was initially touted as a softening position on the renewable fuel standard by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, the Texas senator continues to advocate phasing out the federal mandate for bio-fuels by 2022.

There are growing calls for politicians to "stand up to the ethanol special interests" without any acknowledgement that the elimination of the renewable fuel standard is being promoted by the petroleum special interests.

Those special interests have been generating unscientific and false assertions regarding the negative impact on ethanol production. The fact is, we need to slow down and eventually eliminate the burning of fossil fuels that were created by biological action taking carbon from the atmosphere over hundreds of millions of years.

A claim that biofuel production is environmentally destructive is based primarily on the argument that farming causes soil erosion. Soil conservation practices have improved over the years and need to continue improving but the idea that farming is more environmentally destructive than the production and use of petroleum or coal is simply not based on fact.

If Iowa's voters lose influence over the debate now, the debate will be won by the petroleum industry.