Clinton campaign looking at alternative to US ethanol

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign had called for advice from California regulators on how to revamp a federal regulation requiring biofuels like corn-based ethanol be blended into the nation's gasoline supply, campaign and state officials said.

The move comes as the clearest sign yet that, if elected, Clinton would seek to adjust the regulation, called the Renewable Fuel Standard, possibly risking votes in corn-growing states like Iowa where she faced a tough battle against Republican rival Donald Trump in the 8 November general election.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, created by Congress in 2005, transportation fuel sold in the US needed a minimum volume of renewable fuels content.

It was intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions and expand the US renewable fuels sector even as it lowered reliance on imported oil. It had been opposed by the oil industry and environmentalists and had been criticised as mere subsidy to corn producers.

Advisers to Clinton had contacted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to discuss whether a policy like California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a market-based system rather than a mandate, could be applied at a national level to replace or augment the Renewable Fuel Standard, and other issues, according to CARB officials.

Meanwhile, The Renewable Fuels Association member company Al-Corn Clean Fuel celebrated its 20th anniversary this month.

The farmer-owned ethanol production cooperative was founded in 1994 and started production at its 50 Million Gallons Per Year ethanol plant in Claremont, Minnesota, in 1996.

''Al-Corn Clean Fuel has been a leader within the US ethanol industry and at RFA, with its CEO Randall Doyal our current chairman,'' said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen, who was at the celebration.

''The company has been a local economic engine, providing jobs and investment opportunities to the area. Even today, some 20 years since it began, almost all of the farmer coop members live within 20 miles of Claremont.''