The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt the latest GREET model for the lifecycle analysis of corn ethanol.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, ACE CEO Brian Jennings highlighted the important role corn ethanol could have in further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if properly valued under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and cited a recently published meta-analysis showing that corn stover retention results in significant soil carbon sequestration, and if taken into account by lifecycle modeling, reduces the GHG footprint of corn ethanol far below EPA’s current estimate.
“EPA relies upon lifecycle accounting to quantify GHG emissions under the RFS, however, your model is nearly a decade old and fails to include the continuing advancements in this science documented by the Argonne National Laboratory and the data represented in the meta-analysis,” Jennings writes. “EPA’s antiquated analysis is an impediment to more low carbon biofuel use hurting both rural communities and the environment.”
“As you work on the proposed rule to “reset” RFS volumes for 2021 and 2022, ACE urges you to take this timely meta-analysis into consideration to foster more ethanol blending,” the letter continues. “Specifically, we encourage EPA to use the “reset” as an opportunity to increase undifferentiated renewable fuel volume beyond 15 billion gallons for 2021 and 2022 by reallocating the 2.61 billion gallons waived so far through so-called “hardship” exemptions for small refineries and restoring 500 million gallons to the 2016 RFS compliance year as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals.”