DES MOINES, Iowa — Two women running for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat this November criticized each other Monday as each tries to make the case that she is the best to represent the state’s renewable fuels industry.
At issue is the Trump administration’s policy that has awarded additional waivers to oil refineries, which limits the amount of renewable fuel in the nation’s energy supply. The administration has nearly quadrupled the amount of waivers compared to its predecessor.
Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines real estate executive who is running as a Democrat in the race, called for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler to resign because of the policy. And she blamed Ernst, a Republican, for having a role in Iowa producers’ plight since Ernst voted in favor of confirming Wheeler to the position.
Ernst mocked Greenfield for calling Wheeler the incorrect name a few times during a campaign appearance. “I don’t think she has actually called on Andrew wheeler to resign. I think it was ‘Eric Weaver’ or ‘Andrew’…uh…I can’t remember…anyway..whatever she was calling him…a couple of different names,” Ernst said Monday during a campaign event with agriculture supporters via Zoom.
“She’s a real estate executive from Des Moines,” Ernst said, “I know she probably hasn’t maintained contact with her rural industries but she does need to understand the significance of this.”
The back and forth between the two women who both grew up on farms could be a preview of what Iowans can expect over the next four months. Ernst is seeking re-election for the first time. Greenfield beat three other Democrats in the June primary.
Dr. Kelly Winfrey, a political science professor at Iowa State University, expects the race to be close.