Flex Fuel Fairness Act would ‘level the playing field’ against electric vehicles

A bill that’s been introduced into the US Senate would incentive automakers to build more flex fuel vehicles, which could increase demand for biofuels.

Troy Bredenkamp, senior vice president of government and public affairs with the Renewable Fuels Association says the legislation would level the playing field against electric vehicles. “Having the flex fuel vehicles out there that can utilize higher blends, will lead to higher blend demand, that will lead to higher ethanol demand, that will lead to more corn being utilized for ethanol and that will be better for the corn farmer.”

The Flex Fuel Fairness Acct, cosponsored by Pete Ricketts (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D—MN), would provide auto manufacturers incentives to produce Flex Fuel vehicles and electric vehicles.  The Environmental Protection Agency currently provides credits for EVs to help increase production by 2032 but not for FFV.

Speaking with Brownfield at an ethanol roundtable in Nebraska Monday, Bredenkamp says the bill helps unlock the potential of ethanol-blended fuel. “We have about a 15 billion gallon ethanol market in the US.  If we can just go to E15, that’s going to add 7 billion gallons of ethanol demand in the US.  We would have to do about a 50 percent build out from where we are at today.  That would be a great thing for farmers and ranchers.”

Lori Luebbe, executive director of the Nebraska Soybean Association, says this could help return demand for biomass-based diesel volumes that was lost after EPA lowered blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. “There’s a lot of room to work with EPA on getting those numbers up where we need them.  The industry is going to stay at it and move forward.”

Ricketts says the EPA has ignored the benefits of flex fuel vehicles that use higher-blended ethanol fuels.” Our bill levels the playing field for a proven Nebraska alternative to expensive and burdensome electric vehicles. Nebraskans know biofuels like ethanol are a proven solution that lowers prices for consumers at the pump, is great for our farmers and ranchers, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.”

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