SIBLEY, Iowa—Presidential candidates for decades have sought to curry favor with Iowa farmers by pledging allegiance to a local agriculture lobby that reaps the benefits of favorable federal laws.
Now, Sen. Ted Cruz, the front-runner in the state’s Feb. 1 Republican presidential caucuses, is threatening to break the long-standing pact, prompting a fierce pushback from the industry.
Mr. Cruz is calling for an end to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law first passed in 2005 that requires refineries to blend an increasing amount of biofuels, including the corn-based ethanol produced here, into the U.S. gasoline supply each year.
The state’s biggest ethanol trade groups are in the midst of a multi-million-dollar campaign to stop Mr. Cruz from becoming the first presidential candidate in either party to win the state while opposing the standard since it was enacted.
For the trade groups that represent Iowa’s ethanol producers, Mr. Cruz represents an existential crisis: If he proves a presidential candidate can win Iowa without the approval of the ethanol lobby—represented here by a group called America’s Renewable Future—the fear is no candidate will ever back their agenda again.
If Hillary and Donald Trump can’t stand up to the corn lobby and will protect a blatant rip off of the American public, how will they do resisting the NEA and Trial Lawyers of America? In Hillary’s case, the question was asked and answered long ago: she’s never met a John she didn’t like, so long as he pays up front. As for Trump, his caving here in Iowa says all you need to know.