As you follow the Republican and Democrat presidential primary contests, keep an eye on the candidates’ positions on the Renewable Fuels Standard.  Here is brief recap of where they stand today:

Poll Pct* Rep Candidate Comments or Position on RFS Source
22 Donald Trump Unknown
14 Ben Carson I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations for 30 percent ethanol blends Statement in Iowa May 2015
9 Scott Walker Believes the ethanol mandate could be wound down over “a two-year period.” August 2015 Interview
8 Ted Cruz 5 year phase out of RFS Iowa Ag Summit March 2015/co-sponsor of S.1195
7 Mike Huckabee A conservative position says if the government tells people to do something … and they do it, and then the same government pulls the rug out from under them and says we’re not going to do that anymore, you’ve just messed up a whole lot of people who made their investment because they trusted their government. 2015 Iowa State Fair comments
7 Carly Fiorina It’s not the government’s job to determine market access May 2015
5 Jeb Bush Over time, the biofuels industry here is being increasingly competitive, just as wind is. Ultimately, you move away from mandates, because it will have huge benefits. That was the original idea and it seems to be working.  Let me be President first and I’ll let you know (my position on the RFS). 2015 Iowa State Fair comments
5 Rand Paul  Remove the 10% limit on ethanol blends and then repeal the RFS Comments at Iowa Ag Summit/co-sponsor of S.889
5 Marco Rubio RFS “cannot be permanent policy” Campaign spokesman comments March 2015
3 Chris Christie Absolutely supports (the RFS).  That should be the minimum. Iowa Ag Summit March 2015
2 Lindsey Graham Every barrel of ethanol is a barrel less of oil the U.S. has to buy “from people who hate our guts” Iowa Ag Summit March 2015
2 Bobby Jindal The success of the ethanol industry over the past decade suggests that a gradual phase-out of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate would allow this maturing industry to compete and thrive on a level playing field with other forms of energy. Energy policy proposal released September 2014
2 John Kasich I’ve never supported that (ethanol) subsidy. But I’m not there to shut it down and put a bunch of people out of work in my state. (I hope it) fades away.  Let’s try to work it all out.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to continue it in the long term. Statement in Iowa June 2015
1 Rick Santorum Supports the RFS  We need the RFS to provide market access Statement in Iowa May 2015
1 Rick Perry Opposes the RFS, as Governor of Texas filed for waiver petition in 2008 and 2012; wants states to have more jurisdiction over energy policy Iowa Ag Summit March 2015


Poll Pct* Dem Candidate Comments or Position on RFS Source
50 Hillary Clinton We have to get the RFS back on track in a way that provides investors with the certainty they need, protects consumers, improves access to E15, E85, and biodiesel blends, and effectively drives the development of cellulosic and other advanced biofuels. Op-ed (May 28) in The Gazette Cedar Rapids, Iowa
31 Bernie Sanders I’m going to have to look at (ethanol) a little bit more deeply.  For one, it raises food prices.  (But) I do believe that it is proper for government to be subsidizing sustainable energies. Iowa Statement March 2015
12 Joe Biden Constrained by Administration from speaking about RFS
1 Jim Webb History of supporting RFS waivers US Senate (as Senator from Virginia); no recent direct comments
1 Martin O’Malley Requested an RFS waiver in 2012 as Governor of Maryland, however has recently said of the RFS: We should seek standards that move up.  I think we should avoid lowering standards Statement in Iowa July 2015

* polling is from CNN and ORC International of likely Republican and Democratic likely caucus goers in Iowa polled Aug 7-11, 2015