The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
Kate McMahon, 202-222-0715

EPA Confirms Most Corn Ethanol Worsens Global Warming Pollution

Effects of ‘indirect land use change’ included in calculation


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

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400