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Press Releases

Press Releases

Nebraska Ethanol Board's Statement on New EPA Tailpipe Emissions Standards

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule implementing new multi-pollutant emissions standards for light and medium-duty vehicles of model years 2027 through 2032. The rule creates a regulatory framework that the EPA projects will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). According to the provisions of the rule, approximately two-thirds of annual sales of new light-duty vehicles will need to be EVs by the year 2032.

“Under the language of this rule, EVs are considered zero emissions. This methodology is inherently flawed, especially when considering electricity used to power an EV may come from a multitude of sources from coal-fired power plants to wind farms. Lifecycle emissions associated with the production of a given fuel, whether it is a liquid fuel or electrons, must be assessed appropriately,” critiqued Reid Wagner, executive director of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

A 2023 study supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and conducted by researchers at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, examined the lifetimes of U.S. light-duty vehicles. The research found that by 2020 median expected lifetimes already ranged from 17 years for passenger cars and 20 years for SUVs and vans to about 25 years for pickup trucks.

Estimates compiled by the U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicate that the number of light-duty vehicles registered in the U.S. has increased year-over-year since 2016, surpassing 283 million in 2022. The number of EV registrations was estimated to have surpassed 2.4 million in 2022, representing less than 1% of all light-duty vehicle registrations, while gasoline-powered light-duty vehicle registrations surpassed 241 million.

“The increasing lifetime of the hundreds of millions of vehicles already on U.S. roads today make a crystal-clear case that we must take a technology-neutral approach to lowering emissions,” Wagner continued. “According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ethanol is already 43% lower in lifecycle emissions than conventional gasoline, and technological advancements occurring at ethanol facilities are continually improving this percentage. The use of higher blends of low-carbon ethanol in gasoline such as E15 and E30 will be able to rapidly, and significantly, reduce carbon emissions in both the legacy fleet and engines of the future.”