Iowa voters are signaling strong support for expanding the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Iowa Biodiesel Board that also carries a message for President Donald Trump.

Seventy-eight percent of voters polled in the state said they favor expanding the RFS “to increase the use of biodiesel and other biofuels in the United States.” 

When asked whether it’s important that Trump “keep his promise on the [RFS],” which he pledged to support during the 2016 campaign, 77% of Iowa voters said it was “somewhat” (34%) or “very important” (43%).

“The president may think he has Iowa cinched up for 2020, but my vote is 100 percent up for grabs,” said Dave Walton, a farmer from Wilton, Iowa, who is on the board of directors of both the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Iowa Soybean Association. Walton said he voted for Trump last time, but the president “needs to make a serious fourth-quarter comeback on biodiesel and trade to earn my vote again.”

A spokesman for one renewable fuels group said the administration’s recent decision to grant 31 small refinery exemptions from RFS blending requirements is a factor in dropping poll numbers for Trump in the Midwest. “It’s clear the administration is flailing on the issue — a rumored ‘deal’ on the RFS that hasn’t materialized in two weeks; random tweets from Trump ... saying ‘farmers will be happy,’ several reiterations of how much trade relief the USDA is handing out. The administration has miscalculated how many soy farmers are impacted by the RFS [and] trade issues.”

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