Hearing Explores Impact of EV Adoption on Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman

As President Biden has pledged that half of all new cars will be electric by 2030, some are raising concerns about the impact such a rapid change would have on agriculture and rural America.

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine that issue Wednesday and heard from several stakeholders who stand to be impacted, one being convenience store owners. Trevor Walter, Vice President of Petroleum Supply Management for Sheetz, spoke on behalf of National Association of Convenience Stores, pointing out the need to take advantage of all technologies to reduce carbon.

“One of those technologies is the renewable fuels that are part of our system of powering vehicles today,” said Walter. “Those who would ban internal combustion engines are making a grave mistake…A ban would set renewable fuels on a path to elimination and would cause economic hardship for the farmers who produce and sell the feedstocks for those fuels.”

Trevor Walter, Sheetz, hearing testimony (5:31)

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper told the committee that there should actually be an increased role for low-carbon biofuels in the near term, given the relatively small number of electric vehicles and barriers to EV adoption. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that roughly 80 percent of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2050 will be powered by an internal combustion engine.

“Even with increased electric vehicle sales expected in the years ahead, it would take decades to entirely turn over the fleet. As such, hundreds of billions of gallons of liquid fuel will continue to be used in ICE vehicles for many years to come. To achieve true carbon neutrality in the U.S. transportation system by mid-century, strategies focused on decarbonizing those liquid fuels will need to be undertaken,” said Cooper.

RFA CEO Geoff Cooper hearing testimony (5:06)

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