A hearing on Wednesday looked into the climate implications biofuels have as the Environmental Protection Agency looks to renew the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst spoke at the hearing and discussed why the Renewable Fuel Standard is critical to America’s national security and for consumer access to biofuel that is affordable and homegrown.

In the hearing, Ernst says the Biden administration has turned its back on RFS for electricity- which would make the US more dependable on China.

“As much as the Biden administration dreams of an all-electric world, the reality is liquid fuels are here to stay. With 98 percent of cars and trucks today, and nearly 80 percent of new vehicle sales projected in 2050 running on gasoline or flex-fuel, biofuel is the key pathway to decarbonizing the transportation sector – and the RFS is the policy engine that makes this possible,” said Ernst.

In Iowa, Ernst points to biofuels helping the economy grow.

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“Iowa corn and soybean farmers had record-high crop yields in 2021. The biofuel industry accounts for over $5 billion of GDP, generates $2.6 billion of income for households, and supports nearly 46,000 jobs in Iowa," said Ernst.

She says that biofuels would also be the cheaper option for consumers.

“Ethanol is also the cheapest form of fuel for consumers right now—by about 50 cents—and certainly with record-high inflation it only makes sense to make this fuel source more readily available,” said Ernst. “That’s why I continue to urge the administration to allow summertime sales of E15 as soon as possible. It will not only support our consumers; it’ll also support the nearly 300 retail stations in Iowa who want to provide a cleaner choice at the pump.”

She even turned to the witness, Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy who testified that the RFS is the nation's “most successful clean energy policy”. Ernst asked if the price of oil was related to RFS, to which Skor replied,

“Absolutely not. The primary factor in terms of the cost to fuel at the pump is going to be the cost of crude oil, and it has nothing to do with the RFS.”

The US government claims that corn-based ethanol is about 40% less carbon invasive than gasoline, but a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that ethanol plays a bigger role than previously believed.

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