Ethanol is the solution to transportation problems
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Ethanol is the solution to transportation problems

Jul 17, 2023

Larry Elder

As we approach the heart of summer, families around the country are planning travel vacations. With gas prices approaching $5 per gallon in some places, Americans are looking for anything to decrease the pain at the pump.

The Biden administration says electric vehicles are a solution to decarbonizing the transportation sector while also making driving more affordable. However, its “electric vehicle revolution” operates in an alternate reality where billions of dollars of government spending create domestic supply chain problems overnight. Most EVs are made outside the United States, so many that less than 15% of EVs on the market qualify for federal tax breaks.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last year that his state will ban gas-powered cars by 2035. He lives in a fantasy world. These efforts are political theater meant to score political points with environmentalists who have decided that a single solution to our complex transportation needs is the only path forward.

President Biden claims to be seeking an American solution to a problem it is unclear exists. In truth, we already have a readily available solution: American-made ethanol. Not only does ethanol lower prices at the pump but it also decreases emissions. If the president’s stated goal is to pursue cleaner transportation alternatives, then ethanol should be at the top of the list of solutions.

I have visited Iowa several times while running for president. In every town and city across the state, people tell me how important ethanol is in powering their farms, supporting small businesses and providing economic opportunities in their communities. In fact, research shows the widespread use of ethanol would generate $36.3 billion in additional income for American households, save drivers nearly $21 billion at the pump per year, and support 188,000 jobs.

Democrats would respond that boosting jobs and supporting the economy is not as important as saving the environment. However, the Department of Energy highlights that ethanol creates about 50% lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

Democrats also conveniently ignore the severe environmental and humanitarian nightmares that support the electric vehicle supply chain. Studies show that producing electric vehicles emits more greenhouse gases than fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. Many have warned that the minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries are made under “modern-day slavery” conditions.

Build back better? Not so much.

If the goal is cleaner transportation solutions, let’s be honest and let’s ensure that biofuels, like ethanol, aren’t discounted in this pursuit.

Mary and John Conlisk were both divorced for more than 10 years before meeting through eHarmony. He had more than 700 women to choose from. She had more children (7) than matches (6). Yet their math eventually added up.

But if we are truly serious about addressing climate issues, we should first focus on getting China to play by the rules. Despite efforts by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, China remains the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and shows no signs of reform. Right now, the Biden administration’s effort to push electric vehicles is like drinking with a paper straw; it might make you feel better but is doing nothing to change the situation.

Until we live in a utopia where China listens to us and the average electric vehicle doesn’t cost more than triple the average down payment on a house, we must think practically about the best way to fuel our nation. And that, for starters, should focus heavily on making higher ethanol blends available to all Americans and ensuring that American biofuels factor heavily in our transportation mix.

Larry Elder is a conservative talk radio host and a Republican candidate for president. He wrote this for The opnions are the writer's.

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