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Farmers push for biofuels over electric vehicles
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/09/2024

Farmers from every corner of the United States, including a notable group from South Dakota, have made headlines by sending a compelling letter to administration. Their message is clear: the fight against climate change shouldn't overlook the value of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, in favor of electric vehicles (EVs).

This plea comes at a crucial time as the country gears up to set new vehicle emission standards and aims for half of all vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.

Despite the administration's push for electrification, concerns loom large over the practicality and consumer readiness for a full shift to EVs. Issues such as the scarcity of charging stations and the slow uptake of electric cars by the public underscore the farmers' argument. They advocate for biofuels as a ready and effective solution to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) now, without waiting for EVs to gain widespread acceptance.

Biofuels like ethanol are praised as low-carbon, clean energy sources that offer both environmental benefits and support for rural economies. The farmers' letter underscores ethanol's role in enabling agriculture and rural America to contribute significantly to a sustainable future. They call for broader acceptance and support for this technology in climate change mitigation efforts.

Their concerns are echoed by a survey showing public apprehension towards electric vehicles and a preference for keeping biofuel-compatible vehicles as an option. The letter references California's experience with EVs, noting that despite years of investment, only a small fraction of the state's vehicles are electrified.

In response, corn growers are lobbying for legislative changes to permit higher ethanol blend levels year-round, arguing this could lower fuel prices, cut carbon emissions, and enhance national energy security.

This collective action by farmers underscores a critical debate in the nation's approach to climate change, highlighting the need for a diversified strategy that includes biofuels as a key component of America's energy future.


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