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The Iowa Ethanol Producers Association sent a mailer to voters this week asking them to contact their lawmakers in support of a bill that forces private retailers to sell a certain product.

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The mailpiece calls House File 2128 a “win for families” since it is made with 15 percent homegrown ethanol. The group claims Iowans will save $134 million at the pump, support almost 4,000 Iowa jobs, add $95 million to Iowa’s GDP, grow corn demand for Iowa farmers and drive new investment in rural communities.

“Governor Reynold’s (sic — their typo, not mine) ethanol bill, House File 2128, will guarantee access to E15 across Iowa,” the mailer said.

What the piece doesn’t address is the fact the bill is a government mandate on private businesses — forcing retailers to sell a certain product.

Keep in mind ObamaCare was terrible because it was government forcing a consumer to buy a product. So it is difficult to understand how it is OK for government to force a retailer to sell a certain product.

And while the bill includes a waiver for certain gas stations so they don’t have to change their pumps to offer the proposed government-required product, those stations worry about new stations being built and being able to offer the cheaper fuel option, thus impacting their business and putting them out of business that way.

While there may be positives derived from such a bill, the principle is still wrong. Government should not be allowed to force consumers to buy a product. Nor should it be allowed to force a retailer to sell one.

Author: Jacob Hall

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