Farmers Accuse Biden of Overlooking Biofuels in Race to EVs

Source: By Ilena Peng and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2024

  • EV focus is ‘short-sighted’: National Corn Growers Association

  • White House aims to have 50% of car sales be electric by 2030

The biggest US corn farmers’ group is urging the Biden administration to embrace biofuels in the push to reduce vehicle emissions rather than focusing mostly on electric cars.

The National Corn Growers Association said the White House “may be overlooking the benefits of biofuels as it rushes to embrace electric vehicles,” according to a letter viewed by Bloomberg News that will be sent to President Joe Biden on Wednesday. “If we are going to address climate change and meet our climate goals, we are going to have to take a multi-pronged approach that includes tapping into higher levels of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, which offers an immediate climate solution.”

The administration set a goal to make half of all new car sales to be electric by the end of the decade, and has touted investments in EV technologies and infrastructure. The letter was signed by almost 3,500 farmers.

Focusing on EVs could “significantly limit” the administration’s ability to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the letter. The corn group called Biden’s EV strategy “short-sighted” in a separate statement set to be released Wednesday.

More than one-third of corn grown by US farmers is distilled into ethanol, a form of alcohol blended with gasoline under a government program known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. Ethanol makers and the oil-industry lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute are pushing for legislation that would allow more of the biofuel to be used in gasoline year round.