Iowa Ag Summit  ...Next >
March 7, 2015--Former Gov. Rick Perry. (+)
photo 1 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 2 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 3 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 4 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 5 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 6 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
photo 7 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
Responses on RFS and wind:
Rastetter: Let's talk about the RFS.  Where do you stand on that?

Perry: Well I think the-- Obviously you know I've got a record with RFS as the governor of the state of Texas and what we saw back in 2010, 2011 time period when I wrote a letter asking for some waivers from that.  Was, if you will a bringing together of some really difficult drought conditions in the state of Texas and representing those individuals and you know looking back on it I made the right decision for the people of the State of Texas and the beef cattle producers at that particular point in time.

Obviously the subsidies have gone away, the RFS is out there in front of us.  Here's what I will tell you and be real clear about.  I don't think you pull the RFS out and discriminate against the RFS and leave all these other subsidies and mandates and other policies in the place.  I don't think Washington, DC--whether it's on deciding what our children's curriculums need to be, deciding what our health care needs to be in the states or for that matter picking winners and losers when it comes to agricultural products.  I think that that now-- If the state wants to make some effort in that line, which we did with wind.  I mean Texas is the number one wind-energy producing state followed closely by Iowa--

Rastetter: Do you support the extension of the Wind Tax Credit?

Perry: I do if a state wants to do it.  I don't at the federal level.  I think all of these need to be looked at, whether it's oli and gas, whether it's the wind side, whether it's the RFS--I think all of them need to be put on the table, prove up whether or not these are in fact in the best interest of this country.

Here's the bigger issue for me.  A president that will go to work every day, I mean every day, trying to put trade policies in place where the products in Iowa and the products in Texas and agriculture products all across this country are being able to be sold into places outside the borders of the United States.  That needs to be the real effort, and I will suggest to you that if we'll do that then the subsidies and the mandates and all the other policies will become substantially secondary.

Rastetter: Not to press you on this, but market access is clearly what ethanol producers want and if they can't compete in the marketplace but they have to have the ability to compete in the marketplace and have consumers buy that product to be able to chose voluntarily to buy it.  How do you do that if you don't have the RFS there today?

Perry: Well and again, and I go back to I think this is substantially more a state issue than it is a national issue.  And that's what we did in the State of Texas on the wind side of things.  I mean we decided that we were going to subsidize the wind energy by the [inaud.] lines, our electrical lines, so you could bring the wind from out of West Texas and bring it into where the people are.  And so I just fundamentally have a philosophical disagreement that Washington, DC needs to be empowered, whether it's educating our kids or delivering health care or for that matter policies.  With all of that said it's important for us to put policies into place that are an insurance for these agriculture producers.

I mean energy and food are major areas that we have to protect.  And we know the ups and downs.  I've sat on the end of a turn row and watched a wheat crop be lost to a hail storm.  I, as a matter of fact, not raining for a year had a change in my life.  I was headed off to fly for Southwest Airlines in '78 after I got home and farmed for a year and a half and it quit raining.  I mean I understand the vagaries that can happen both from natural sources, natural disasters and frankly man-made events.  I watched my wheat go to hell in a handbasket in 1978 when Jimmy Carter decided to boycott the Olympics.  And those types of Washington-centric decisions are really disconcerting to me as a citizen, so my point is that if states want to put processes, policies, subsidies into place, that should be their call, but I philosophically don't agree that Washington, DC needs to be making these decisions that affect particularly, well not particularly, but our agricultural industry.
photo 8 of former gov. rick perry at the iowa ag summit
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photo  of rickpac staffer andy swanson
RIckPAC Iowa staffer Andy Swanson.  Veteran Iowa operative Robert Haus is leading Perry's efforts in the state.  Swanson, Dane Nealson and Kip Murphy were brought on in February.  Perry has spent more time in Iowa than any of the potential candidates.  This was his eleventh trip to the state in 2016 presidential cycle.  Also on this trip he met with citizens at the Maid-Rite restaurant in Webster City on the evening of March 6.