Since EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard almost 3 years ago, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says there have been dozens of new studies and modeling improvements. He says these new reports and data show that the corn ethanol process is far less carbon-intensive than assumed by EPA. Such research, Dinneen says, shows life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Brazilian sugarcane ethanol production are worse than originally estimated by EPA for the RFS2.
“Life-cycle greenhouse gas” emissions refers to all emissions from a power source, such as an ethanol plant, from its groundbreaking to the point at which it returns to “greenfield status,” which comes about when industrial land is returned to condition prior to its industrial use.
That’s why Dinneen is calling on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to initiate an update process for EPA’s life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analyses of corn and surgarcane ethanol for the RFS2.
Recognizing the new science and data and initiating a process to update the RFS2 – according to Dinneen – will ensure the Agency maintains an active and relevant role in the scientific discussion around biofuel life-cycle GHG accounting; enhance the public’s understanding of corn ethanol’s life-cycle GHG impacts and serve to inform debate on future biofuels policies; allow for fairer comparisons of corn and sugarcane ethanol; and reduce the backlog of petitions for new pathways.