• 4 minutes Is The Three Gorges Dam on the Brink of Collapse?
  • 8 minutes The Coal Industry May Never Recover From The Pandemic
  • 11 minutes China Raids Bank and Investor Accounts
  • 9 hours In a Nutshell...
  • 8 hours Is OilPrice a cover for Green Propganda
  • 7 hours Why Wind is pitiful for most regions on earth
  • 20 hours During March, April, May the states with the highest infections/deaths were NY, NJ, Ma. . . . . Today (June) the three have the best numbers. How ? Herd immunity ?
  • 1 day Putin Paid Militants to Kill US Troops
  • 2 days Victor Davis Hansen on Biden's mental acuity " . . unfit to serve". With 1 out of 5 Democrats admitting it. How many Dem's believe it but will not admit it?
  • 2 days Putin Forever: Russians Given Money As Vote That Could Extend Putin's Rule Draws To A Close
  • 2 days Tesla Model 3 police cars pay for themselves faster than expected, says police chief
  • 20 hours Joe Biden to black radio host, " If you don't vote for me you ain't black". That's our Democratic Party nominee ?
  • 2 days Happy 4th of July!
  • 2 days Apology Accepted!
  • 3 days The Political Genius of Donald Trump
  • 4 days Per most popular Indian websites it was Indian troops not Chinese troops breach of LAC that caused the clashes. If you know any Indian media that claim to the contrary please provide the link
Is The UK Doing Enough To Stimulate EV Sales?

Is The UK Doing Enough To Stimulate EV Sales?

Electric vehicle sales in the…

Exxon May Finally Book Major Writedowns

Exxon May Finally Book Major Writedowns

ExxonMobil could write down the…

A Clear Sign That OPEC Compliance Is Working

A Clear Sign That OPEC Compliance Is Working

OPEC basket price broke beyond…

Robert Rapier

Robert Rapier

More Info

Premium Content

Are Electric Vehicle Mandates Next On The Table?

In my many discussions with ethanol proponents, they invariably push several narratives. Sometimes these narratives are sincere, but sometimes they are driven by glaring self-interest. Today I cover a quick way to understand their motivations.

I recently discussed the topic with a Midwestern corn farmer, and he cited the normal talking points. We spend money in the Middle East to ensure oil supplies aren’t disrupted. Burning oil creates carbon dioxide. Gasoline contains carcinogens. He then closed with “The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is about ensuring that we have cleaner air, and it’s working.”

So, I posed him this question: “Would you support a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) mandate?” He pretended not to understand the question: “I am not aware of any electric vehicle mandates.”

I said “There aren’t any. I am just asking if you would support one.” Again, he dodged the question: “I don’t think anyone is proposing an EV mandate.” I said “Sure, but we could implement one that would work just like the RFS. If you support ethanol mandates for cleaner air, surely you could support an EV mandate to accomplish the same objective?”

He wasn’t sure that sounded like a good idea. He said “I am not against electric cars, but I don’t think mandating them is the right approach.” I said “Now you might understand my position on ethanol.”

If you ever want to know if someone is being genuine when using ethanol talking points, you can check them for consistency by gauging their support for an EV mandate. It could be structured similar to the RFS. Related: $300 Oil: What If The Attacks In Saudi Arabia Had Destroyed Production?

Car manufacturers could be mandated to ensure that 10% of all the vehicles they sell are EVs. There could be some scheme in place, as there is with the RFS, to ensure compliance. The production of an electric vehicle could generate a Renewable Identification Number (RIN), just like with biofuels. And, just like with biofuels, a car maker that sells more than its mandated volumes could sell its excess RINs to a carmaker that didn’t sell enough. Through this system, we could ensure that we are selling whatever Congress deems is the right amount of EVs.

If a supporter of ethanol mandates is generally supportive of such a scheme, then at least they are being logically consistent. In fact, an electric vehicle mandate would accomplish largely the same goals as the RFS. If they start cherry-picking reasons not to support such a scheme, then one should be suspicious of their motivations.

For instance, they might argue that much of the lithium supply comes from outside the U.S. But if they simultaneously ignore the fact that the ethanol industry depends on oil — some of which comes from outside the U.S., they are again being inconsistent. (I would add that some lithium is produced in the U.S., and one could envision that this industry would get a boost from an EV mandate).

Likewise, if they argue that lithium mining is polluting, while 1). Ignoring pollution associated with corn farming and ethanol production, or 2). Again ignoring that the corn/ethanol industries depend on oil — they are being inconsistent.

The most consistent reason for such inconsistencies is that their support for ethanol isn’t really about clean air or any other talking point. Their support for ethanol is out of self-interest, and clean air is a talking point used to justify that self-interest.

Why does it matter? Because it is a fruitless endeavor to debate people who are primarily guided by self-interest. They aren’t necessarily looking for the best solution to a problem. They are looking for the solution that benefits themselves first and foremost.

By Robert Rapier 

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 12 2019 said:
    The whole concept of Electric Vehicle (EV) mandate is ludicrous and stupid. Customers around the world shouldn’t be forced by mandates or legislation or bribed by subsidies to buy EVs.

    EVs should compete with internal combustion engines (ICEs) on their own merit, namely competitive prices, range, shorter battery charging time and benefits to the environment.

    Furthermore, customers around the world are aware that ICEs are continually getting more efficient, friendlier to the environment, more advanced technologically and also more competitive. In this world, there are no more free lunches.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Loren Kaeb on October 12 2019 said:
    As a grain farmer I do agree with you. we get all sorts of bad legislation (for the country and farmers) because presidential primary start in Iowa. The only push back I would give is that a 10% ethanol blend does make it internal combustion burn cleaner. But there's no way to justify a higher blend

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News