Ethanol Industry Concerns About EPA Peer Review

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency’s peer review of the renewable fuel standards lifecycle analysis released today is being characterized by corn and ethanol industry groups as biased, bizarre and puzzling.

EPAThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says the EPA “stacked the deck against biofuels in its process to “peer review” the agency’s indirect land use change analysis (ILUC) conducted for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) proposed rule” by including as reviewers “several noted anti-ethanol and anti-agriculture activists, including environmental lawyer Timothy Searchinger.”

“EPA has asked the foxes to guard the hen house on this issue,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. “By adding lawyers and advocates to a scientific review panel, EPA bureaucrats have made a mockery of the Administration’s commitment to sound science.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, responded to the release of the study today by calling on Congress to repeal the ILUC provision in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

“We need to stop this nonsense. This is the most bizarre concept I have ever seen. EPA’s peer review proves that too much uncertainty about the economic modeling, data and science exists to allow this to ever become regulation. Even the peer review committee could not agree,” Buis said.

National Corn Growers Association president Bob Dickey says they are disappointed in the lack of objectivity in the review.

“We are dismayed by EPA’s complete disregard for an approach that is fair and balanced. We are also puzzled as to why the United States Department of Agriculture, which has extensive knowledge related to this issue, was in no way included in the peer review process,” Dickey said. “We call upon the EPA to modify its approach to reflect the commitment of President Obama to adhere to policies based on sound science and a transparent process.”

According to EPA, the peer reviewers “are recognized as leading experts in their respective fields, which include: lifecycle assessment, economic modeling, remote sensing imagery, biofuel technologies, soil science, agricultural economics, and climate science.” EPA will consider the peer review results along with public comments received, and implement the reviewer’s technical recommendations to the greatest extent possible.

corn, Environment, Ethanol, Growth Energy, Indirect Land Use, NCGA, RFA