EPA Admits Uncertainty in Indirect Land Use

Cindy Zimmerman

A group of Midwest senators led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) dropped an amendment to appropriations legislation that would have prohibited the EPA from spending funds to include international indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions in the implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Sen. Harkin withdrew his amendment after receiving a letter from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that promised the agency would be taking a closer look at the proposed regulation regarding ILUC that would penalize biofuel production such as corn-ethanol.

Jackson said in her letter that it is “clear that there are significant uncertainties associated with these estimates and in particular, with the estimate of indirect land use change.”

“Therefore, I have asked my staff to quantify the uncertainty associated with specifically the international indirect land use change emissions. They are working closely with USDA as well as incorporating feedback from experts who are commenting on the rule. This analysis will allow us to quantify the impact of the uncertainty on the lifecycle emissions. We will present these estimates in the final rule, and I plan to incorporate those estimates of uncertainty in my regulatory decisions.”

Harkin was pleased with the EPA administrator’s admission and promise to address the issue. “I think our amendment got EPA’s attention,” Harkin said.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, Indirect Land Use