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March 7, 2015--Gov. Scott Walker remarks on the renewable fuel standard were a bit ambiguous, and a spokesperson later clarified his views.  Walker's appearance prompted a contingent of union members to demonstrate across the street.
photo 1 of gov. scott walker at the iowa ag summit
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photo 8 of gov. scott walker at the iowa ag summit
Responses on  RFS and wind:
Rastetter: I'm going to ask you about the RFS.  Where do you stand on that?

Walker: Well we’ve talked about this before. In general, on any issue, I’m someone who believes in a free and open market.  I don’t like a whole lot of government interference.  That applies to a whole lot of areas, not the least of which is the EPA with things like navigable waters and other issues out there.  I’ve fought those challenges at the state and local level as well.

But I do believe--and we’ve talked about this before--it’s an access issue and so it’s something I’m willing to go forward on continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard and pressing the EPA to make sure that there’s certainty in terms of the blend levels or in terms of the levels set.  [a bit of applause]  So that going forward farmers know when they’re making decisions about how to plant crops, what the process is. And one of the frustrations I know from a lot of folks is that you got an EPA that doesn’t send a clear standard on that.

Now, long-term--we’ve talked about this before as well--my goal would be to get to a point where we directly address those market access issues and I think that’s a part of the challenge.  So that eventually you didn’t need to have a standard just like you no longer need in the industry to have the subsidies that were there before to help insure we had a strong system.  I think eventually you can get to that.  But you can’t get to that unless you deal with market access.

We've talked about this example before, but you know you look around the world, Brazil to me is an interesting example we've talked about where you know they've got those blenders, those station pumps where they, people, the consumer can make the choice as to what they want to do in terms of what blend they want and what sort of fuel choice they want.  That's ultimately the best way to let the market decide but right now we don't have a free and open marketplace and so that's why I'm willing to take that position.

Rastetter: Thank you.  What about wind?  Do you support wind energy; the tax credit just expired the end of December.  Is wind an important part of the renewable resources?

Walker: Well two parts.  You asked two different questions in one phrase there.  I'd say, yeah I support wind as part of an overall all of the above energy policy.  To me we can be competitive in the world economically, we can also shore up our national security issues if we are more dependent on the abundant supplies of energy we have here in America and in North America in particular, and that means we should just be singling out one or the other but we should say all of the above.  I want as many different energy policies, or not policies, energy options as possible out there and if I was in a position as president I'd advocate for that.

In terms of the phase-out of that, I think even four years ago in the last presidential election it was a lot different time than we have right now.  This is one of those where I think it served a purpose; I do believe though it's one of those where in terms of where we stand today with the phase out, I would support phasing that out over a period of time.
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Rick Wiley (center) has assembled a signifcant team at Walker's 527 organization, Our American Revival, over the past several months.  OAR was the first of the organizations officially aligned with a potential candidate to open an office in Iowa and to report some endorsements.
photo of rick wiley at the iowa ag summit
Iowa senior advisor David Polyansky.