Rick Perry has been in Iowa again. The Texas governor was here last week to help Republican candidates, including Gov. Terry Branstad, who is trying to get re-elected for a sixth term.
Sure he is, because Branstad is in such a tight race with his Democratic opponent that he needs Rick Perry to help pull him over the top. Anyone who believes that has the intelligence of a fence post.
What amazes me is that Iowa Republicans are putting up with Perry and publicly fawning over him. That’s just wrong.
Rick Perry is a Texas “Big Oil” pusher. He is in bed with the Texas oil and gas industry. This energy sector is the greatest threat there is to Iowa’s ethanol, biofuels and wind power industries.
That also means that Perry is the single biggest threat to Iowa corn and soybean prices because these are the inputs for ethanol, biodiesel and wind turbine companies located in the state as well as a threat to the energy companies investing in wind farms, and a threat to the future of farmers leasing land to wind farms.
“Why is that so?” you ask.
Because Perry’s oil and gas industry is the big money behind efforts to eliminate tax breaks and other crucial federal policies that have made wind, ethanol and biofuels profitable.
Take the Renewable Fuel Standard. Perry said, “I also think that there’s a time that these incentives mature and that they can go away.”
Remember that. The Texas governor, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has long been a critic of the federal mandate, which requires that a certain amount of renewables be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.
Really, governor? How about the massive federal tax breaks the oil and gas industry enjoys? When, Governor, can those “go away”? I’ll bet my farm that you would never say that in Texas.
It is hard to believe that Perry has been received so politely and even enthusiastically by Iowa Republicans. By giving him the run of Branstad’s campaign, the message seems to be that Perry is received with open arms by Iowa Republicans.
Can you imagine a presidential candidate who advocates an end to subsidies to the oil and gas industry being cordially received in Houston? I can’t.
In past years, presidential candidates who trashed ethanol were at least challenged when they came to Iowa. And some, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, lost Iowa in the November elections in part because of their position against Iowa’s treasures of corn, soybeans and wind power.
In case you don’t understand, an end to the blended fuel mandate and tax breaks for wind power would be “devastating to Iowa’s economy,” as Gov. Branstad himself has said.
Maybe Iowa Republicans will tell Perry how they feel about his position on support for corn, wind, ethanol and biodiesel when he appears on stage with the other 2016 GOP contenders, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Kelly Ayotte, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum.
We had better send the message out loud and clear and now not later that for economic reasons, for sustainability, green energy, for jobs, and for the cleaner fuels of the future, in Iowa we will not support any candidate for national office who is not 100 percent behind our biorenewable and wind-powered energy initiatives.
From my Des Moines Register column March 3, 2014