Corn growers feeding the ethanol gasoline market are unhappy with President Joe Biden’s push for electric vehicles.
Ethanol producers would get “only a tiny slice of the funds proposed in the infrastructure package, despite Biden’s assurances that he views them as key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” Politico reported.
“To not see [biofuels] listed as part of an infrastructure piece, I’m hoping is just an oversight and a misunderstanding — because I know that there’s support for it,” Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa’s lone Democrat in Congress, said.
Rob Walther, vice president of federal advocacy at biofuels producer POET, said that based on continuing conversations with congressional allies and leadership, the company is confident “the plan was an opening bid in order to set the vision of bold climate action.”
“You could take away that it was very electric-vehicle driven,” Walther told POLITICO. “On the other hand, we have a solution for the problem they are trying to solve, and so we expect to be a part of those discussions in the future.”
“The discussion between how electric vehicles will fit into our transportation network and how higher blends of ethanol and biofuel will fit into our transportation network seems to be going on side by side, rather than a competition,” National Farmers Union vice president of advocacy Mike Stranz said.
“We’ll be in touch with lawmakers and the administration as [the infrastructure package] comes together.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has taken the lead on getting a plan through Congress, wants to do so by Memorial Day, according to ForConstructionPros.com.
“We need to do something real; we need to do something big,” Buttigieg said.
“There’s at least a trillion dollar backlog of work do be done. We can’t build back to what we had. We have to build it back better and sometimes that means building it differently,” he said.
Buttigieg claimed to the New York Times “Sway” podcast Monday that 70 percent of Americans support Biden’s sweeping “infrastructure” plan.
“We’re seeing this weird law of political physics that something that is wildly popular among the American people on both sides of the aisle can’t always get that same support in Washington,” he said.
Buttigieg refused to “give in” to that and indicated the administration will go to the constituents of those senators to win them over, citing a “child tax credit” and “healthcare for the elderly.”
“How much of this can Republicans vote for? That’s what we’re working through right now,” he said. “But I’ve got to believe there’s 10 votes or 20 or 30.”
“Thirty,” host Kara Swisher said in disbelief. “Thirty?” she continued with a laugh.
“I think so,” Buttigieg responded.