When it comes to South Dakota agriculture, corn is king. Part of the reason for that is corn-based ethanol — an alcohol that’s mixed in gasoline.
In South Dakota, two out of every three rows of the state’s corn crop become ethanol according to SDSU’s extension service.
However, some South Dakotans are growing concerned about ethanol’s future considering the rising popularity of electric vehicles.
The state’s electric vehicle (EV) fast charging plan was just approved by the Biden Administration. The state says it will guide the creation of a network of fast chargers throughout South Dakota.The White House has a goal of 100% electric light-duty vehicles by 2027 and all vehicles by 2035. And California, the country’s largest auto market, has approved a plan to phase out new gas cars by 2035 — a move that will likely lead other to states to follow.
The transition to electric vehicles also has support from the auto industry. General Motors announced it would phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, the co-founder of a bipartisan political strategy group, spearheaded legislation to create the nation’s ethanol industry. He anticipates a real transformation in the way energy is produced, and how our transportation adapts.
“I don’t think anybody should expect the current situation, the status quo, is going to be something we can expect to see for many more years into the future,” Daschle said. “We’ve got to be resilient. We’ve got to be innovative. We’ve got to find ways to adjust and adapt to the new market, and if we fail to do that, I think that it’s going to be a real tragedy for American agriculture,” Daschle said.
Oh yes Tom, a real tragedy not to have gigantic agribusiness having a single monocrop burned to change the climate. What a tragedy. The definition of it really.