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.
The AP contributed to this report.