Iowa RFS campaign targets presidential candidates, caucus-goers

By Erin Voegele | January 22, 2015

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has announced a new campaign to promote the renewable fuel standard (RFS) during the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses. The multimillion dollar effort will aim to educate both candidates and caucus-goers on the RFS. The campaign will be co-chaired by former state Rep. Annette Sweeney, former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, and Iowa renewable fuels leader Bill Causer.

“I’m very passionate about renewable fuels standard,” said Branstad during a media call announcing the launch of the campaign. “I’m very proud to say that last year when I asked the Iowa legislature to pass resolution supporting a robust renewable fuels standard, we received unanimous support from both houses of legislature. This is very important to our state’s economy. It’s made a real difference for farm income and good jobs, reducing our dependency on foreign oil, improving the environment, and so I’m just really excited to see this strong, bipartisan effort being made to educate people that come to Iowa and presidential candidates about how important this is for America’s energy independence and for the economy, of especially this great heartland of America.”

The campaign is spearheaded by America’s Renewable Future, a bipartisan coalition of companies, organization and individuals committed to the RFS. From now until the Iowa caucuses, the organization will aim to educate presidential candidates, and the rest of the nation, about the benefits of the RFS. The organization will also ask candidates to take a stand on the program. In addition, America’ Renewable Future will educate caucus-goers about which candidates support the RFS.

Eric Branstad, a political strategists and the governor’s son, is helping to lead the campaign. He indicated the initiative is being designed “to look a lot like a presidential campaign,” with the RFS as its candidate. Derek Eadon, a political operative, is also leading the campaign. It will include a 99-county field organization, advertising, earned media, public opinion research, stakeholder engagement, digital and social media outreach.