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.