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Clinton Seeks Advice From California Regulators On Green Fuel Standards

Gas Pump

California regulators advised Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on methods to revamp federal regulations regarding ethanol and other biofuels in order to ensure their increased use, according to state and campaign officials who spoke to Reuters.

Clinton’s stance on the regulation in question, called the Renewable Fuel Standard, could hurt her chances in swing states such as Iowa, where she faces a tough race against Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Congress created the standard in 2005, which mandated that transportation fuels for the U.S. market contain a minimum amount of renewable fuels. The bill aimed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase demand for renewable energy, but it has met with opposition from the oil industry’s lobby. Environmentalists have also spoken against the measure, calling it a subsidy for the corn industry.

The California Air Resources Board, which oversees a market-based system called the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to promote the use of ethanol, advised the Clinton campaign on whether the state’s model could be made suitable for the rest of the nation, according to Mary Nichols, the head of CARB.

Though Nichols did not provide many details regarding her brief discussions with Clinton’s advisors, she said she told them to consider less political taxing strategies, such as encouraging electric vehicle sales and reducing coal emissions.

Three months ago, Clinton expressed her support for the Renewable Fuel Standard in an op-ed posted in an Iowa newspaper.

"We have to get the RFS back on track in a way that provides investors with the certainty they need, protects consumers, improves access to E15, E85, (ethanol blends) and biodiesel blends, and effectively drives the development of cellulosic and other advanced biofuels," Clinton wrote in a column for the Iowa Gazette.

By Zainab Calcuttawala For Oilprice.com

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