The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is trying to head off any possible efforts to subject biodiesel and ethanol to another set of greenhouse gas emission regulations that would effectively put the green fuels under a double jeopardy situation.
Arguing that biofuels are already regulated under the Renewable Fuels Standard, BIO has sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, asking that recently drafted cap-and-trade legislation be amended to clearly state that biofuels, including the biofuel component of fuel blends, are not obligated under the emissions cap:
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “When it comes to climate change legislation, Congress has focused a great deal of attention on stationary emission sources, such as coal-fired power plants. We cannot, however, achieve a low-carbon future without biofuels, because biofuels can play a key role in reducing direct CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. While fossil fuels release carbon that has been stored deep underground for millions of years into the atmosphere, biofuels recycle atmospheric carbon. In some cases, biomass production can sequester more carbon in the soil than is released into the atmosphere through biofuel combustion. Biofuels should therefore not be treated in the same manner as fossil fuels under any climate change cap-and-trade legislation.
BIO goes on to point out that under the RFS, biofuels are already required to achieve substantial lifecycle greenhouse gas improvements compared to petroleum-based fuels.