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Biofuels producers, farmers not sold on switch to electric

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The president and auto industry maintain the nation is on the cusp of a gigantic shift to electric vehicles and away from liquid-fueled cars, but biofuels producers and some of their supporters in Congress aren’t buying it. They argue that now is the time to increase sales of ethanol and biodiesel, not abandon them.
To help address climate change, President Joe Biden has proposed an infrastructure plan that includes billions of dollars to pay for 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, electrify public vehicles and enhance the nation’s power grid. These moves follow initiatives in California and other states to mandate electric vehicle sales and a goal by General Motors to shift production fully to electric vehicles by 2035.
Yet any shift from liquid-fueled cars to electric would be gradual, given the fleet of 279 million petroleum-powered vehicles now on U.S. roads. And producers of corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel argue that biofuels will be needed for the foreseeable future.
The government’s promotion of electric vehicles comes as the U.S. works to reduce carbon emissions that worsen climate change and to compete in the increasingly electric global auto market. The transportation sector accounts for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and more than 80% of that comes from cars, pickups and larger trucks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
LMC Automotive, a consulting firm, predicts more than 1 million electric vehicles will be sold in the U.S. in 2023, rising to over 4 million by 2030 — still less than one-quarter of normal annual new vehicle sales of around 17 million. Electric vehicles now comprise less than 2% of U.S. new-vehicle sales.
Citing a recent study from Harvard and Tuft universities that found ethanol emits 46% less carbon…
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