Policymakers can meet their ambitious goals of quickly lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by turning to biofuels like ethanol, National Corn Growers Association President John Linder told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week.
“EPA’s proposal for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2023 through 2026 is an ambitious increase,” Linder said. “The good news is we don’t have to wait to reduce emissions. Thanks to today’s ethanol, we can use fuel available right now to make a difference.”
His comments came as EPA conducted public hearings on proposed revised emission standards for light-duty vehicles for model year 2023 through 2026 and as the Biden Administration announced a goal of achieving a 50% to 52% reduction in greenhouse gas by 2030. Linder was one of several stakeholders providing input to EPA at the virtual public hearing.
Looking at all possible solutions will ensure the country can take advantage of not only the low-carbon benefits of higher ethanol blends but also the consumer cost savings, cuts in toxic emissions and greater fuel efficiency that come with using more renewables, he argued.
“Higher ethanol blends used with advanced engines optimized for higher octane would provide a much-needed path for automakers to meet stricter standards on both GHG emissions and fuel economy,” he noted.
In addition to advocating for EPA to establish a low-carbon, high-octane standard to enable fuel and vehicles to work as a system to lower emissions, Linder reminded EPA that flex-fuel vehicles that can run on 85% ethanol, or E85, deserve a second look as zero-emission vehicles and could be incentivized through vehicle standards rules.
A year ago this week, then-candidate for U.S. President, Joe Biden said his Administration would prioritize biofuels.
“The Obama-Biden Administration kept our word to farmers,” Biden said during the 2020 campaign. “A Biden-Harris Administration will promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels to help rural America and our nation’s farmers and will honor the critical role the renewable fuel industry plays in supporting the rural economy and the leadership role American agriculture will play in our fight against climate change.”
Linder said NCGA would provide written comments addressing specific ways EPA could support greater use of ethanol as a pathway to meet stricter vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency standards.