Americans can all agree that we want cleaner environment and abundant, affordable energy. However, in recent years, the conversation about energy production and usage has been polarizing and partisan. As a result, we’re faced with a political landscape that prioritizes certain forms of renewable energy over others without considering cost, national security implications or the life cycle carbon footprint. We also have a confusing and frustrating regulatory environment for American energy producers who need a clear path to keep costs down, produce high quality energy, and innovate for the future.
Iowa’s beautiful plains are home to some of the richest farmland and significant renewable energy resources. Iowa leads the nation in both corn and ethanol production, using more than 1.3 billion bushels of corn to produce over 4 billion gallons of ethanol annually. The ethanol industry in Iowa supports more than 48,000 jobs throughout the state, creating over $2 billion in income for households.
This week, I introduced the Fuels Parity Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow corn starch to qualify as an advanced biofuel, which will allow Iowa and the rest of the U.S. to benefit from full carbon-reducing power of corn ethanol. As we look toward a cleaner energy future, it’s imperative we take an “any of the above” approach to energy production. Removing legal barriers that limit the use of corn-based ethanol will bolster American energy production and support our agriculture industry—all while lowering carbon emissions. This bill will ensure the EPA accurately recognizes the emission reduction benefits of biofuels to make the system fairer for producers and keep prices lower for consumers.
As the Biden administration continues its war on liquid fuels, the growing partnership between biofuels and traditional fuels is more important than ever. Allowing corn to qualify as an advanced biofuel allows combustion engine vehicles to compete with electric vehicles by incentivizing lower emissions from ethanol production, making the fuel that powers on-road vehicles cleaner. If ethanol can meet the scientific thresholds, then it should be allowed to qualify as an advanced biofuel.
President Biden continues to cry for clean energy, but looks at electric vehicles as the only solution. But even without considering energy required for electric vehicles, our nation is steadily outgrowing our power grid. Our collective goal should be to reduce carbon emissions, not necessarily to be 100 percent electric, yet this administration is ignoring reasonable and proven solutions to doing so, such as increasing the use of ethanol or biofuels.
As Iowa continues to set the pace for ethanol production around the world, the Fuels Parity Act will support Iowa’s farmers and unleash the full power of our homegrown energy sources.