President Joe Biden sets a new goal for electric vehicles Aug. 5, 2021, at the White House. (Screen shot from White House livestream)
President Joe Biden set a new goal on Thursday: By 2030, half of all new vehicles should be electric.
“In America, there’s not a single solitary thing — nothing — beyond our capacity to get done when we do it together,” Biden said. “We have to act, and that’s what we’re doing today.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds and other Iowa elected officials issued statements Thursday afternoon asking that, instead of focusing on electric vehicles, the Biden administration prioritize biofuels. Iowa is the nation’s top producer of ethanol.
“President Biden’s short-sighted stance on electric vehicles is undermining Iowa’s renewable fuel industry while simultaneously jeopardizing America’s energy independence,” Reynolds said in a news release, noting that biofuels were not supported in the latest infrastructure package.
The Renewable Fuels Association issued a statement that biofuels should be part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper argued in a news release that, even if more new cars are electric, old cars on the road will still need liquid fuel.
“Renewable fuels like ethanol offer a solution that is available right here, right now at a low cost to jump-start decarbonization efforts,” Cooper said.
Iowa’s D.C. delegation weighed in on social media. Rep. Randy Feenstra echoed the RFA, citing a Department of Energy report that the majority of cars will still require liquid fuel in the coming decades.
Pres. Biden should read his own admin’s reports. The DoE estimated nearly 80% of vehicles will still require liquid fuels by 2050.
— Rep. Randy Feenstra (@RepFeenstra) August 5, 2021
Sen. Joni Ernst urged the Biden administration to focus on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions immediately through biofuels. Ernst also tweeted a Fox News story tracking the private flights of John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate. She wrote that those flights used “the same fossil fuels Biden’s Admin is pushing to eliminate.”
Let’s do something that will help lower emissions right now. Corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50%. Increased access to biofuel is a solution for today. https://t.co/FxK6NowCsg
— Joni Ernst (@joniernst) August 5, 2021
Rep. Ashley Hinson said the same, calling for biofuels as a right-now solution.
Iowans are tired of waiting on President Biden to follow through on the promises he made to invest in the biofuel industry and rural America. The Administration should prioritize biofuels, a realistic and on-hand clean energy source, today. #IA01https://t.co/jlu4YxXDJk
— Ashley Hinson (@RepAshleyHinson) August 5, 2021
Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa’s only Democrat in D.C., did not explicitly push back against Biden’s new goals, but she pointed toward the Renewable Fuels Association’s goal for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Axne criticized the current infrastructure package in a trip to Iowa this week, calling a lack of biofuels funding “short-sighted.”
Glad to see this commitment from @EthanolRFA to become net-zero GHG by 2050. Biofuels is a significantly cleaner fuel source & is helping decarbonize our transportation sector today. We need to encourage more biofuels use to further reduce our GHG emissions in the years to come. https://t.co/j0sdg1mH4B
— Rep. Cindy Axne (@RepCindyAxne) August 5, 2021
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