Ethanol is expected to be a hot topic when Republican presidential hopefuls debate tonight in New Hampshire.
The candidates who are scheduled to participate include Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen expects ethanol to be on the agenda during the debate and hopes it will provide the opportunity for a more comprehensive conversation about America’s energy future. “America desperately needs a thoughtful, comprehensive and realistic energy strategy that fully appreciates and incents the use of domestically produced renewable fuels like ethanol,” Dinneen said.
The candidates’ views on ethanol have already been the subject of many media reports, which started hot and heavy when Gingrich made headlines in January at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit. At the same meeting, Santorum said he supports ethanol and called himself a “biofuels convert”.
Pawlenty made news when he announced his candidacy and called for a reform of ethanol policy similar to what the industry supports, while fellow Minnesotan Bachmann is also reportedly interested in re-examining ethanol supports.
Romney says he believes that ethanol is “an important part of our energy solution in this country” and Herman Cain also sees ethanol as one part of a needed comprehensive plan for energy independence.
Of the candidates scheduled to appear tonight, only Ron Paul, as a Libertarian and representative of Texas, has been consistent in his opposition to ethanol support.