The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing discussing the implications of electric vehicle (EV) investments for rural America. Representatives from the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Southern Company, General Motors (GM), Sheetz, and others participated. Lawmakers broadly argued that consumers – not government – should drive EV market incentives and noted the importance of protecting farmers and rural communities.
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) asked two questions submitted by EMA:
- Rep. Crawford asked the GM representative how subsidizing EV purchase may impose economic hardships on small business fuel and energy marketers. The GM representative said that those dealing with climate transitions may see future job opportunities in renewable energy given increased consumer demand.
- Rep. Crawford followed up with the GM representative on the feasibility of an efficient battery exchange model to ensure EVs pay their fair share of the wear and tear done to highways. The GM representative agreed with the importance of working out such a model.
Republican and Democratic representatives questioned the applicability of EVs to rural areas. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) asked Southern Company’s representative how EV users in rural areas would be able to access already-limited power sources that are constantly disrupted by wildfires and other natural disasters. Southern Company’s response that “not all the EVs would be charging at the same time” did not satisfy Rep. LaMalfa, who requested additional substantive information.
During the hearing, the RFA argued that EVs and the increased production and use of renewable fuels like ethanol would be essential to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The RFA argued in strong support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements in 2023 and beyond to “ensure low-carbon biofuels have access to a growing market.”