Grassley Says Electric Over Ethanol Vehicles A Climate Religion for Many in Infrastructure Bill

A Midwest Senator claims the pending infrastructure bill’s heavy emphasis on electric over ethanol-powered vehicles has several root causes, ranging from climate change to ethanol’s continued reliance on blending with gasoline.

Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley was asked why the big imbalance in the pending Senate infrastructure bill between electric versus biofuel investments, when electric-generation is still reliant on fossil fuels.

“Because climate change is a ‘religion’ for some people, and you don’t divert from that religion. And they don’t like oil, fossil fuels, generally. And when you’ve got biofuels, and you’re promoting the use of biofuels at the same time, you’re going to continue the use of petroleum products, unless you’ve got some car that can burn 100 percent ethanol, and they exist, but we don’t do it that way in the United States.”

Grassley adds that 50 or a hundred electric plants are easier to regulate than the many widespread ethanol plants. And then there’s the infrastructure bill’s mix of transportation spending.

“Democrats wanted emphasis upon mass transit to be entirely electric vehicles, and we have provisions in there for some of the money to be used for biofuels.”

But it’s much less than Grassley and other farm-state lawmakers want, a group of whom—all Republicans—are seeking, though some like Grassley still support the bill for its road, bridge, waterway, and broadband investments.

The bigger question is whether brick and mortar spending will survive a two-step effort by Democrats to secure a second, massive social infrastructure bill that Republicans oppose but that House progressives insist on before they’ll support brick and mortar infrastructure.