Policy at the Pump: Corn’s Conundrum

Feb 23, 2024

Ethanol producers wish the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule would come into play right now.


Give me fuel, give me fire: Recently, the Biden administration said it wants toadjust modeling for corn-based ethanol: a shift that will show it isn’t as effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as previously thought.


Pleasure to meet ya: This comes just after a December announcement that the government agreed to use the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (*takes a breath*… GREET) model to measure emissions—a model the National Corn Growers Association is also in favor of. Now, the admin is considering an adjustment that sources say will “more accurately account for environmental damage caused when land is converted to farms to grow corn.”


Corned gasoline: Some sources say this new adjustment will make it harder for ethanol producers to take advantage of some tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel. However, it still leaves some room for subsidies if they partner with corn growers who use sustainable farming practices.


Bittersweet symphonies: Also in ethanol news, the White House will allow year-round sales of ethanol blends in certain states but is pushing the start date to 2025. Currently, ethanol is restricted in the summer months due to environmental concerns.


TL;DR: In short, it’s enviros vs. agriculture, and there’s a presidential election coming up. Ethanol has a lot of things up in the… stalks…

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