Ted Cruz on EnergyCruz opposes ethanol subsidies, arguing that they benefit lobbyists rather than working people, and prefers a free-market approach to energy.
CHUCK TODD: “You are, have come out against these subsidies. You've called it a gravy train. A lot of Iowans, including the Republican governor, doesn't like it. But I'm going to put these numbers, isn't it understandable why Iowans like these subsidies? Ethanol and biodiesel support more than 46,000 jobs, they've generated $2.5 billion in income for Iowa households - this is a state with unemployment under 4%. This is an important part of their economy.”
TED CRUZ: “Absolutely. And, listen, my view on energy: we should pursue all of the above. We ought to be pursuing every energy source.”
TODD: “You'll be hurting their economy.”
CRUZ: “But with no mandates and subsidies. And you know what, the people who are attacking me are Lobbyists and Democrats.”
TODD: “Governor Branstad, is he a lobbyist or a Democrat?”
CRUZ: “No, his son is a lobbyist who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying ethanol. His family makes a ton of money.
The lobbyists very much want to keep Iowa focused on the ethanol mandate, because it keeps Iowa dependent on Washington.
It means every year they got to go back to Washington and maintain the mandate. The lobbyists get paid, the politicians get paid. I'm going to eliminate all the subsidies. No subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies for anybody. But the other piece that is very important and resonating is I'm going to also tear down the EPA's ethanol blend wall, which means make it legal to sell mid-level blends of ethanol. And that in turn can expand ethanol's share of the marketplace by 60%, but not based on mandates and subsidies - based on the free market. That message is resonating.”
TODD: “It's so clear you spent a lot of time in Iowa. Look at you, talking about mid-level fuel cells, all these combinations – but at the end of the day, how does this not hurt the Iowa economy? That's what Governor Branstad is saying. A vote for you is going to hurt the economy.”
CRUZ: “But, Chuck, the point I made, this actually would expand the Iowa economy. Right now, ethanol is banging into the RFS [renewable fuel standard]. It's essentially, the blend wall is a cap. As people in Iowa know - as I travel around and do town halls - ethanol's not expanding its market share because the EPA is preventing it from doing it.”
31 January, 2016: Cruz is interviewed about the economy of Iowa by Chuck Todd