Elections 2014: 5 races that will shape US energy

Energy is an outsize issue in many of the closest midterm elections. From coal in Kentucky to oil in Louisiana, these five races will influence the future of US energy and environmental policy.

3. Corn, wind, and energy

Jared Gilmour/David J. Unger/Jake Turcotte

Joni Ernst (R) burst onto the political stage in March with a TV ad about growing up on a farm castrating hogs, and it’s that down-home appeal that’s made her race with Rep. Bruce Braley (D) so close.

But Ms. Ernst has some stances that may not go over well in Iowa, and could prove her Achilles’ heel. For example, Ernst has said that she opposes government subsidies on principle, leaving some wondering where she stands on government support for ethanol biofuels – a popular policy in corn-heavy Iowa. Ms. Ernst has said she wouldn’t repeal the subsidy until all federal subsidies are done away with.

Mr. Braley has touted his support for ethanol, and has endeared himself to environmental groups by supporting the wind Production Tax Credit and EPA emissions cuts.

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