Kansas Corn’s Roe to House Oversight Subcommittee: Include Biofuels as Climate Solution

May 17, 2023

Kansas Corn’s Roe to House Oversight Subcommittee: Include Biofuels as Climate Solution

May 17, 2023

Key Issues:Ethanol

Author: Sue Schulte

Testifying at a House Oversight Subcommittee hearing on vehicle emissions rules and electric vehicle transition, Kansas Corn Growers Association CEO Josh Roe said biofuels like ethanol should not be ignored as a climate solution.


Roe told the subcommittee the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed standards for new vehicles limit greater use of low carbon liquid fuels like ethanol to help reach climate goals. EPA’s focus on electric vehicles ignores a solution that is available to nearly every vehicle on the road today.


“The agricultural and liquid fuels industries stand ready to assist in reducing air pollution. Unfortunately, current, and proposed EPA rules prevent us from being part of the solution and adversely impact low income and rural citizens across the United States,” Roe stated. “While we believe electric vehicles will play a vital role in achieving these goals, other complementary alternatives, such as biofuels, have a key role to play but are being pushed aside.”


High-octane low-carbon fuel containing higher ethanol blends is a low cost, high-impact climate solution that can be used in the nation’s existing vehicles and new vehicles.


“High-octane low-carbon fuels containing higher biofuel content reduce emissions, both because they’re less carbon intensive to produce, and because higher octane means significant gains in fuel economy. HOLC fuels offer a solution to air quality problems, combat inflation, do not require a publicly funded overhaul of our transportation infrastructure or require consumers to purchase vehicles that may not be compatible with their way of life," Roe said.


Roe questioned EPA’s proposal that considers electric vehicles as zero-emission.


“EVs are not truly zero-emission vehicles. While they do not have a tailpipe, you still need to account for the emissions that come from the power grid. The U.S. power grid is currently 60% powered by coal and natural gas,” Roe said. “Current and proposed EPA rules do not account for these upstream emissions when calculating compliance, let alone the additional emissions and toxic pollution generated by mining rare earth minerals around the world.”


See Roe’s full testimony here: