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Thousands of Farmers Ask Biden Administration to Not Forget Biofuels in Electric-Vehicle Push

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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In a letter to President Joe Biden, thousands of farmers ask the administration to not forget biofuels' role in reducing carbon emissions. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- With the EPA set to release tailpipe emissions CAFE standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles for 2027 to 2032, thousands of farmers signed a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday asking the administration to consider the role of biofuels including ethanol in reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

The letter from the National Corn Growers Association signed by more than 3,400 farmers from across the country expresses concern about the administration's push on the electric-vehicle front.

"While the use of electric vehicles is one tool in the nation's toolkit for fighting climate change, consumers are not readily adopting this technology," the letter said.

"A recent survey, sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and conducted by Morning Consult, showed that Americans have concerns on a range of issues involving electric vehicles, including the accessibility of charging stations, and that an overwhelming majority say vehicles that are compatible with biofuels should remain available to consumers."

The letter said the survey results "support" what is happening at car dealerships across the country where EV sales are "slowing" and electric cars are sitting on lots longer than their non-electric counterparts.

"Dealers are echoing what respondents told us in the survey: the expense of electric vehicles and the challenges of keeping them moving are impediments to sales," the NCGA letter said.

"Negative news coverage highlighting the weaknesses of EVs, such as the recent articles about charging difficulties and delays during extreme cold spells, only exacerbates these perceptions."

The letter points to the situation for EVs in California as a warning sign for what's to come across the country.

"One must only look at California, one of the most prominent states in the push to adopt EVs, to see that these problems are not likely to change overnight," the farmers said.

"The state has spent years at the forefront of the transition to EVs, spending enormous political capital and billions of dollars to encourage its citizens to embrace these vehicles. Yet, by the end of 2022, only 2.6% of the state's light-duty vehicles were electrified. 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."

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