The ethanol industry sees long-term viability, despite President Biden’s push for greater climate protections, including all electric vehicles by 2035. Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper is not worried the market for corn-based ethanol will suddenly disappear if President Biden and the auto industry move to an electric fleet. “We’re going to be using a lot of liquid fuels for a very long time in this country, even under the most aggressive scenarios to reach net-zero emissions, under aggressive plans to reduce and eliminate these fossil fuels.”
Cooper says the transition to all-electric public and private vehicles will play out “over decades.” But Biden is pushing to end sales of all gas-powered vehicles in less than 15-years, and to rapidly convert the federal fleet. Cooper’s calculation relies on a continuing, even if declining, demand for liquid fossil fuels. “If we are incrementally using less gasoline and diesel fuel, as long as renewable fuels like ethanol represent an increasing share of the gasoline and diesel fuel consumption, then we can keep and even grow our current levels of production and demand…and that’s what we’re focused on.”
But much of that will depend on reauthorizing the Renewable Fuel Standard next year, Biden’s climate strides, climate bills, and the nation’s demand for higher ethanol blends as carmakers shift to more zero-emission vehicles.