DES MOINES, Iowa -- U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley, a Brooklyn Democrat, has faced criticism for talking down to farmers, skipping veterans hearings in Congress and failing to find an "Iowa nice" way of settling a dispute with a neighbor over roaming chickens. Monday, Braley tried to refocus the conversation with what his campaign feels would be a strength with Iowans: the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Braley toured FEC Solutions in Des Moines, a plant that, among other things, reduces the amount of fatty acids in corn oil, to make them more valuable to bioenergy producers. The event showed the importance of maintaining the Renewable Fuels Standard, of RFS, which guarantees a minimum amount of biofuels in energy production.
Braley said, "It takes some incentives for people to take the risk and try to develop something new. That's going to create jobs and expand the economy."
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, joined Braley. She said, "I'm here to say we don't need somebody in the U.S. Senate that doesn't get it, like his opponent."
Stabenow's comments were directed at Republican Joni Ernst, of Red Oak. Ernst has maintained her support for the RFS. But she has said she is "philosophically opposed" to energy subsidies. Her campaign said that means Ernst backs the RFS, as long as there are energy subsidies.