Just last month, President Biden raised eyebrows when he took executive action to begin transitioning federal government vehicles to electric vehicles. It followed a similar move spearheaded by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who last September, fully embraced the Green New Deal and implemented a move to all-electric vehicles by 2035.
For those who don’t fully understand how big the agriculture industry is to Iowa’s economy that may not seem like a big deal—after all, why would Iowans care what folks in D.C. and California are doing?
It’s simple—a move to electric vehicles means no more gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, which would eliminate the need to blend ethanol and biodiesel. And folks, anyone that knows Iowa knows that this move would deliver a devastating blow to our biofuel producers and farmers who have already had a tough go during COVID-19.
Now, some will say that these decisions by Governor Newsom and President Biden surely can’t have that big of an impact, since they only apply to vehicles in California and vehicles owned by the federal government. But don’t buy that. California is the largest state economy in the U.S. In fact, if it were its own country, it’d be the fifth largest economy in the world—bigger than the United Kingdom. A major move to buy electric would force the hands of others to fall in line behind them. And if the entire United States moves to all-electric vehicles—like the Biden-Harris Administration wants—say goodbye to Iowa-grown biofuel and the livelihoods of the hardworking folks who labor night and day to provide these clean fuel options.
It’s not only the move to all-electric vehicles that should have Iowans concerned; it’s the crazy tax breaks that wealthy coastal elites are getting for their electric vehicles. I firmly believe Iowa taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for millionaires to get a discount on luxury cars. That’s why I’ve been working hard to get the electric vehicle tax credit off the books. Between Fiscal Year 2011 – 2017, this tax credit totaled $2.2 billion in lost revenue, so I think we can all agree that the outcome here should be really simple: eliminate this incentive.
Iowa leads the way in ethanol and biodiesel production—which means we literally fuel our nation and the world. There’s really no way around the fact that the radical environmental policies of the far Left will decimate Iowa agriculture. That’s why I will continue to be relentless when it comes to fighting for our state, and right now that means pushing back against the coastal elites who want to eliminate the need for biofuel and fundamentally change our way of life in the Heartland.
When wealthy coastal elites drive policy for rural Americans, Iowans lose.
Joni Ernst, a native of Red Oak and a combat veteran, represents Iowa in the United States Senate.