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EPA Confirms Most Corn Ethanol Worsens Global Warming Pollution
Effects of ‘indirect land use change’ included in calculation
WASHINGTON - May 5 - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed draft rules to govern implementation of the federal “Renewable Fuels Standard”—the law that requires massive increases in biofuel use over coming years. Friends of the Earth Energy Policy Campaigner Kate McMahon had the following response:
“Administrator Lisa Jackson and the EPA staff made the right move today. The devil is always in the details, but we’re pleased that the EPA’s proposed rules would require all global warming pollution from biofuels to be taken into account. Crucially, the EPA has rejected corporate agribusiness’s demand that pollution from land use change be ignored. Demand for land on which to grow crops for biofuels can lead to deforestation and destruction of grasslands and wetlands, resulting in substantial global warming pollution.
“Indeed, because of land use impacts, most biofuels actually cause more global warming pollution than conventional gasoline. According to the EPA’s draft rule, most corn ethanol is expected to result in more global warming pollution per gallon than regular gasoline for the next 33 years.
“Unfortunately, the EPA’s draft rule isn’t perfect—it includes an option to let polluters cook the books by manipulating the length of time over which pollution is measured. This option should be eliminated. We need to reduce pollution right now, not 100 years from now.”