Auto manufacturers and lawmakers are pushing for more electric vehicles. That means the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is trying to keep ethanol competitive and increase demand.
Kathy Bergren, director of public policy and renewable fuels with NCGA, says the Renewable Fuel Standard is still the basis for federal policy. However, organization wants to build on that with new policies that take advantage of the fact that ethanol is low carbon and high octane.
“Those two things together are really what can help keep ethanol and liquid fuels competitive going forward,” she says. “We’re looking for opportunities to work with Congress, with the Biden administration and highlight these environmental benefits that ethanol provides, and the fact that it is a solution that is affordable and available right now.”
The RFS has had many successes over the years, and Bergren says NCGA is trying to optimize it.
“When you have all those waivers and reducing the requirements to blend, [you’re] really reducing the incentive to move to higher blends like E15 and taking away that force of the RFS to push towards those higher blends,” she added.
Bergern says another policy priority for NCGA is the Next Generation Fuels Act.
“This is about transitioning the gasoline supply to lower carbon, high octane fuel to reduce emissions and making sure that those vehicles that are using those more advanced engines have the right kind of fuel to work with those advanced engines,” says Bergren. “It really ensures that there’s choice and alternatives in that market.”
NCGA has its sights set on one more policy: Clean Fuel Standard.
“This is a market-based policy that’s going to reward and credit fuels that offer carbon emissions reductions,” says Bergren.
Bergren and NCGA are also planning for 2022 when the volumes for the RFS expire.
“EPA is going to have to write a rule and some regulations this year that will govern how those volumes are set in subsequent years after 2022,” she added. “This is going to be a really important process for making sure that the RFS allows for continued growth.”
Bergren presented as part of the Michigan Corn “Coffee with Corn” series. Her full presentation can be found here.