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
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More