EPA Revises Indirect Land-Use Emissions Stance

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has backed off efforts to block EPA from weighing contested ethanol emissions after Administrator Lisa Jackson pledged that biofuels rules will reflect uncertainty around international indirect land-use change emissions, according to a Greenwire report.

Harkin and other farm-state members — Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) — had crafted an amendment to the agency’s fiscal 2010 spending bill that would have barred use of funds to consider these greenhouse gas emissions when implementing the national biofuels mandate. The amendment would have prevented EPA from penalizing U.S. corn and soybean growers for land use changes or potential land clearing for increased biofuel production in other countries.The bill is currently on the Senate floor.

"In light of the EPA letter, and because EPA had said [the amendment] would delay issuing regulations to establish renewable fuel volume biofuel requirements for 2010," Harkin dropped the amendment, spokesman Grant Gustafson said. Harkin believes that setting those requirements in a timely manner is "critically important" to reducing oil import reliance, Gustafson added.

International indirect land-use change emissions refer to scenarios such as carbon released if U.S. biofuels production prompts deforestation in other countries to compensate for U.S. cropland devoted to fuels.

A 2007 law that boosted the national biofuels mandate requires biofuels to have lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum fuels by varying degrees, and EPA must consider these indirect emissions as part of the requirement.

The ethanol industry and its allies in Congress argue the science around linking U.S. biofuels to foreign land-use changes is too murky to be employed in the EPA rules and have been on the attack all summer.

House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) added language to the House climate and energy bill in June that would bar EPA from considering including emissions from indirect land-use changes abroad for five years.

In a letter to Harkin, EPA’s Jackson said that feedback on rules proposed in May to implement the mandate and peer review on lifecycle emissions are prompting the agency to conduct an "uncertainty analysis" on the land-use issue.

"This analysis will allow us to quantify the impact of uncertainty on the lifecycle emissions," the letter states. "We will present these estimates in the final rule, and I plan to incorporate those estimates of uncertainty in my regulatory decisions.

Jackson’s letter stops well short of the ethanol industry’s goal of keeping these international land-use changes out of the EPA rulemaking.

While noting there are "significant uncertainties" associated with the lifecycle emissions estimates, the letter states that peer review and feedback on the proposed rule "indicate that it is important to take into account indirect emissions from biofuels when looking at the lifecycle emissions as required by EISA." EISA is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that expanded the biofuels standard and attached the greenhouse gas requirements.

(Source: Greenwire)

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesArysta LifeScience, DuPont Collaborate On Rynaxpyr Prem…
February 8, 2017
Arysta LifeScience recently announced that it has entered into a global collaboration with DuPont Crop Protection for the development of Read More
Industry NewsThe Fertilizer Institute Board Elects New Chairman, Vic…
February 8, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) Board of Directors has elected Chuck Magro, President and CEO of Agrium, and Tony Will, President Read More
Sonny Perdue
ManagementARA Joins More Than 600 Organizations In Support Of Per…
February 8, 2017
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) recently joined with more than 600 agricultural groups on a letter of support for Governor Read More