A recently completed state-of-the-art analysis from Purdue University concludes that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) overestimated the indirect land use change (ILUC) impact of grain-based ethanol by a factor of two in developing its Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) one year ago.
The Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter sent this week to ARB Chair Mary Nichols pointing out this dramatic conclusion and reminded her of the board’s promise to review and incorporate new science as it becomes available. In the letter, RFA President Bob Dinneen wrote:
“New research conducted and published by Purdue University using the Global Trade Analysis Project model (GTAP) concludes that land use change emissions potentially associated with corn ethanol expansion are likely less than half of the level estimated by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff for the LCFS. While we continue to have grave concerns about including highly uncertain and prescriptive indirect emissions penalties in the LCFS (for instance, we do not believe ARB has the authority to account for ILUC consistent with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution), we write to point out the new Purdue findings because we believe ARB has committed itself to consider and respond to critical developments like these.”