Ethanol Still King vs Electric in Midwest Politics


Corn ethanol is still ‘king’ in Midwest politics and less polluting than electricity as a motor fuel—especially if you’re a U.S. Senate Democrat from Illinois. As the old saying goes, ‘all politics is local,’ even if you are a Democrat who just voted for billions in electric vehicle tax credits.

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, at a biofuels’ infrastructure funding announcement in her state, claims flex fuel vehicles are less polluting the EVs, thanks to Midwest farmers.

“And if you look at our farmers, what they’re doing, it’s incredible. They’re doing all sorts of farming practices, that cover crops and the like, that are moving us closer to pulling more carbon out of the air than is actually putting more back into it. And remember that, when you go to electric vehicles, they’re still being charged by oil.”

A rare admission from anyone on Duckworth’s side of the aisle, and from one who fought successfully in the just-enacted Inflation Reduction Act to include funds for E85 and E15 pumps. Fuels that Duckworth argues are key to reaching U.S. emission-reduction goals.

“We can actually produce ethanol that is a net carbon negative. I was just in Marquis Energy just two days ago, and they’re able to produce ethanol net-negative because we’re also using carbon capture sequestration.”

Duckworth dismissed studies that claim ethanol production adds to climate emissions. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, accompanying Duckworth in Illinois, added that millions in new help for biofuels will spur the U.S. to be the “global leader” in climate-smart Ag and bio-based products.