|Iowa Ag Summit ...Next >|
|March 7, 2015--Former Gov.
RFS and wind:
Rastetter: So let's talk a moment about ethanol. What's your perspective on the RFS?
Pataki: You know, I start-- First of all I'm a great believer in renewable fuels and did a great deal when I was governor, but I honestly don't think the federal government should require anybody in America to buy anything, whether its renewable fuel or Obamacare.
I support ethanol, but I believe we should phase out the RFS, but not simply do that; we have to have alternative markets, and I did that in New York. You just heard Congressman King talking about how the petroleum industry has shut out ethanol, and they've done a very good job of that.
We worked to overcome that when I was governor and I'll tell you one thing you probably don't know. When a service station, a gasoline station signs a contract with a supplier often that contract says they cannot provide any other alternative fuel. So that if you want to put in ethanol or natural gas or electric chargers you can't do it. That's the petroleum industry. And what we did in New York was pass a law that I pushed and signed saying that those contracts are void. If a service station wants to put in any fuel whether its ethanol, electric charger or gas that they do it.
There are two other things I'd do to open up the market. First, when CAFE was negotiated the automobile makers came in and said they were going to work a lot to make flex-fuel vehicles more available. They haven't done that. The solution is not mandating people to buy something, it's giving consumers choice including E-85 or anywhere from E-10 or E-15 up to E-85. We want to put in blender pumps across America. When I was governor we had a pilot program to provide assistance to fueling stations that wanted to put in alternate fuels. There is so much that can be done. Ethanol is a good thing for America and for the world. It is clean, it is renewable, it is American made. We should push it but not by forcing people to buy it.
Rastetter: What about wind?
Pataki: Wind is something that I've worked a lot on both of these issues, and we have a number of wind farms that we were able to get in upstate New York. I think it's important, but I think that we have to totally restructure the tax code in Washington and get rid of all the exemptions, the loopholes, the breaks, the carve-outs including the wind tax credit. Wind now is mature, it has reached the point where it can compete with regular energy on a grid-parity basis so it doesn't need that.
But there are two problems with wind where we can do things to make it more competitive. The resource is often far removed from where the people want to use it. If you have a great wind source in North Dakota, you need a market and you have to get it to Minnesota or Chicago and the permitting process is brutal. I would have pre-emptive permitting for multi-state high voltage renewable power like wind and like biomass and others. And I would also work on storage, because the other problem with wind is if it stops blowing you don't have any power. So work with the wind industry to have both better storage and combined with natural gas generators that can be fired up quickly so that instead of being an intermittent source of power wind can become a reliable source of power.
|(Below) Doing an interview after
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|David Catalfamo is a key Pataki advisor.|