President Biden today announced proposed revisions to the vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards through model-year 2026 and a non-binding executive order setting a goal of making half of new vehicles sold in 2030 electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Automakers have previously announced similar goals.
“Time is of the essence if we’re going to meet the President’s ambitious goals for reducing emissions,” said John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “The good news is we don’t have to wait until 2030 for new vehicles and technologies to reduce emissions. Thanks to today’s ethanol, we can use fuel available right now, in the vehicles we’re all driving today, to make a difference.”
Using higher volumes of ethanol is an immediate way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and more low-carbon liquid fuels will be needed to decarbonize transportation on a timely and affordable basis, Linder added.
“We encourage policymakers to focus more on outcomes and less on the specific technologies to reach these goals,” said Linder. “The most recent analysis from the Department of Energy shows that today’s ethanol reduces emissions by about half compared to gasoline, due in large part to our sustainable corn production. With our commitments to continued improvements, farmers are ready to help ensure clean, renewable ethanol reaches net-zero emissions.”
NCGA will continue to advocate for policies that allow consumers to take greater advantage of ethanol’s low-carbon, lower-emission and lower-cost benefits, Linder said. NCGA will submit comments on today’s proposed fuel efficiency and emissions standards rule that highlight how higher blends of ethanol used with advanced engines, as well as flex-fuel vehicles, provide important pathways for automakers to meet stricter standards.
In Congress, Representatives and Senators recently introduced H.R. 4410, the Year-round Fuel Choice Act and S. 2339, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act. These bills would narrowly update the law to ensure fuel containing 15% ethanol will continue to have market access on the same terms as standard 10% ethanol-blended fuels. The legislation was introduced in response to a recent court decision reversing EPA’s 2019 actions to ensure full market access for E15. Allowing for the year-round use of ethanol at these levels would eliminate 17.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of removing 3.8 million vehicles from the road.
“We ask Congress and the President to work together to address pressing environmental and economic concerns, including finding a durable solution to allow continued market access and expansion for proven low-carbon fuel in E15 and by including infrastructure for higher blends of biofuels in the infrastructure packages. These near-term steps help level the playing field and provide immediate emissions reductions, supporting longer-term policy efforts.”
To support ethanol policy solutions and educate policymakers about the benefits of low-carbon ethanol, NCGA recently launched a campaign in the nation’s capital to outline the immediate environmental benefits of the biofuel. The digital campaign is made up of videos on streaming services, video on local websites in Washington and social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram targeting decision-makers. In addition, the campaign includes sponsored Agri-Pulse Podcast Deep Dive series on biofuels and sponsored content in Politico.