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2020 Democrats Caught Between Corn and Ethanol Foes in Iowa

  • Activists seeking to upend political wisdom on winning state
  • They’re undeterred despite few wins to show for their efforts
Mighty Earth activist Anya Fetcher presses Senator Elizabeth Warren on biofuel policy during an event in Iowa.
Mighty Earth activist Anya Fetcher presses Senator Elizabeth Warren on biofuel policy during an event in Iowa.

Environmentalists are taking their case that corn-based ethanol is bad for the planet to the state that makes more of it than any other: Iowa.

They are bird-dogging presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker at rallies and town halls, trying to dissuade them from making politically convenient pro-ethanol pledges to get votes in corn country. Their message: biofuels are driving environmental harms, from disappearing wetlands to algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico.