Backed by $420K in Campaign Cash from Big Oil, Ernst is Standing By Her Votes to Empower Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Undermine Iowa Farmers and Producers

For Senator Joni Ernst and her campaign’s reliance on Big Oil, it’s 2014 all over again. Long before her signature broken promise to “make Washington squeal,” Ernst made local and national waves for her ardent opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard – pitting her against Iowa farmers and producers, but currying her favor with the Big Oil donors bankrolling her election.

  • At a forum in December 2013, Ernst told voters she didn’t support the RFS.
  • Ernst’s campaign told the Sioux City Journal she was “philosophically opposed” to the RFS and open to repealing it.
  • She openly tied her campaign’s success to an early boost by some of the most notorious oil tycoons working to repeal the RFS.

GOP campaign veteran and founder of The Iowa Republican Craig Robinson labeled Ernst’s feigned RFS flip-flop as “disingenuous,” with “doubt” that her supposed reversal was anything more than a “politically expedient” response. Carroll Times Herald co-owner and columnist Doug Burns wrote that Ernst was deceitfully trying to be “with us in rural Iowa, while being against us.”

Ernst’s “wobbly” stance on the RFS was repeatedly undercut by her fundraisers hosted by the Koch Brothers and Big Oil – who in Ernst’s own words “started [her] trajectory” to Washington.

Down in the polls and more unpopular than ever, Senator Ernst’s time-tested allegiance to Big Oil has caught up with her. Ernst’s re-election campaign is working in overdrive to cover up her broken promises to Iowa farmers, and erase her disastrous votes for fossil fuel lobbyists Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler to head the EPA. Now as Wheeler takes on 52 RFS gap-year waiver requests from the oil industry, Ernst is storming to his defense and refusing to follow businesswoman and Democratic nominee Theresa Greenfield’s lead in demanding his immediate resignation.

“After Big Oil bought her a seat in Washington, Senator Ernst paid them back by voting for a fossil fuel lobbyist to head the EPA – even though it hurts Iowa’s farmers,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “Iowa farms have gone bankrupt and biofuels plants have shut down at the hands of the RFS waivers pushed by the fossil fuel lobbyist Senator Ernst voted into power. Facing a failing re-election, Senator Ernst is trying to wipe the slate clean – but the Iowans whose livelihoods have been destroyed aren’t buying it.”