GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Cruz
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Cruz
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker waves as he walks off stage after speaking at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Walker
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is interviewed by host Bruce Rastetter, right, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Bush
  • GOP 2016 Bush
  • In this March 7, 2015, photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is interviewed by host Bruce Rastetter, left, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. After a flurry of fundraising, formal speeches about economics and global affairs Bush got down to business this weekend appearing at the Pizza Ranch in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after a stop at the Agricultural Summit. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Presidential Summit Agriculture
  • Presidential Summit Agriculture
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is interviewed by host Bruce Rastetter, right, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Perry
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Perry
  • Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Pataki
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Pataki
  • Former New York Gov. George Pataki speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Santorum
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Santorum
  • Former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum is interviewed by host Bruce Rastetter, right, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Perry
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Perry
  • Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry waves as he walks on stage during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
GOP 2016 Iowa Chrisite
  • GOP 2016 Iowa Chrisite
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Iowa Republicans and agribusiness leaders that he opposes the federal standard for renewable production, including ethanol. At the Iowa Ag Summit, a forum focused on agricultural issues on Saturday, Cruz likened the federal renewable fuel standard to "corporate welfare."

Cruz told the audience of roughly 1,000 that he has "every bit of faith that businesses can continue to compete, continue to do well without going on bended knee to the government." Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol.

A 2007 law increases the volume of ethanol and other renewables blended into transportation fuel to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2013 proposed reducing the increase. Leaders from both parties in Iowa say that would hurt the state's economy.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee offered support for maintaining the level of biofuels, such as ethanol, blended into gasoline. He said ethanol production helped support energy independence for the United States.

The forum was hosted by Iowa Republican businessman Bruce Rastetter. Nine Republican presidential prospects were on the program, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Bush and Walker said they support government intervention to increase the amount of ethanol used in the US. Despite some of these potential Presidential candidates speaking about the biofuel, it appears that the topic is losing some its political punch. Some, but not all.

Related Videos:

Iowans Worry About Ethanol's Lost Political Clout


The AP contributed to this report.

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