Big Corn and Big Oil Team Up to Fight EVs

Subsidies for electric vehicles pose a threat to both the biofuels industry and the traditional oil industry, so the two are teaming up.

Typically, the biofuels industry and the oil industry have been rivals, since biofuels have been touted by their backers as an alternative solution to fossil fuels – biofuels have been sold as being able to fuel cars with less environmental impact.

Indeed, the two groups have duked it out in Washington over the years regarding the topic of how much biofuel should be added to gasoline or diesel.

SEE ALSO: Study Finds Advanced Biofuels and Renewables Leading Over Traditional Biofuels

However, the growth in EVs could hurt demand for both types of fuels. A biofuel lobbying group said this week it would look to work with oil-industry trade groups.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen told reporters this week that his group and the oil industry is more aligned than previously thought.

“We want to make sure there’s a level playing field,” Dinneen told reporters at an annual meeting, according to Reuters.

He thinks his group can work with the oil industry on regulatory and other issues.

“Our objectives will align more times than not,” Dinneen said during a panel. His comment was directed to two oil industry representatives, according to Reuters.

Similarly, oil-industry types were advocating for the standard internal-combustion engine.

SEE ALSO: European Union Proposal Reduces Vehicle Emissions With Biofuels

“[We] think we should be working to promote the longevity of the internal combustion engine,” Chet Thompson, president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), said during his presentation this week.

Both groups feel that the electric-car industry is getting too much support, relative to what they receive. Thompson used the word “inequities.”

Under the Trump Administration, especially with long-time Environmental Protection Agency foe Scott Pruitt now in charge of it, priorities could shift away from EVs. Trump has said he’d like to cut regulations on drilling and manufacturing, and Pruitt comes from oil-rich Oklahoma. He is also a critic of the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels added to gas and diesel.

How the changes in Washington will affect which group gets the bulk of subsidies remains to be seen.

Reuters


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