House Ag Committee Chair Blasts EPA Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday announced strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s just released proposed rulemaking on the Renewable Fuels Standard that includes impacts from indirect land use changes.

During a hearing to review the impact of the indirect land use and renewable biomass provisions in the renewable fuel standard, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) blasted the proposal as being unfair to corn ethanol.

“You’re going to kill off the biofuels industry before it even gets started. You are in bed with the oil industry,” Peterson said. “I want this message sent back down the street. I will not support any climate change bill. I don’t trust anybody anymore.”

Margo Oge, head of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, took the heat in the witness chair before the committee, attempting to clarify and justify the measuring of international land use changes, such as forest clearing in the Amazon, in determining lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for biofuels. Oge laid the blame back in the laps of the congressmen questioning her who voted for the 2007 Energy Information and Security Act. “EISA required EPA to look broadly at lifecycle analysis and to develop a methodology that accounts for all factors that may significantly influence this assessment, including indirect land use,” Oge said. “Ignoring such a large contributor of greenhouse gas emissions would render the concept of lifecycle analysis, which was mandated by Congress, scientifically less credible.”

The White House responded to Peterson’s comments with a statement that “There should be no question — the Obama Administration is committed to renewable fuels.”

Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Government