EPA Setting Dangerous Precedent for Biofuels Globally

Joanna Schroeder

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is setting a dangerous precedent for the global biofuels industry according to spokesman Bliss Baker with the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA). On November 15, 2013, the EPA announced its proposed biofuel volumes for 2014 for the Renewable Fuel Standard and for the first time since the legislation was passed in 2007, the amount of biofuels for all categories was reduced.

GRFA says for the first time the U.S. government has bowed to petroleum industry pressure and the proposed changes would have severe economic and environmental consequences.

GRFA1“The EPA proposal cuts the demand for domestic fuel produced by America’s renewable fuel industry, which will increase the cost of gas at the pumps,” said Baker. “You cannot remove over 1.3 billion gallons of fuel from a fuel pool without it having an impact on fuel prices.”

Baker noted that the U.S. has been a leader in the global biofuels industry and the latest EPA proposal will tarnish this leadership role, putting at risk other jurisdictions who have followed the lead of the the country to introduce biofuels friendly policies. Baker continued by saying The EPA proposal jeopardizes the progress biofuels have made in reducing global crude oil dependence, cutting carbon pollution and boosting rural economies.

“This EPA proposal is a terrible precedent for the global biofuels industry. Today over 60 countries around the world have adopted biofuels friendly policies, many of whom have adopted mandates. This EPA proposal will send a very negative message to those countries trying to reduce their reliance on crude oil,” said Baker.

The GRFA forecasted that global biofuels production in 2013 will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100 million tonnes. This equates to 20 million cars or all the cars in Portugal and the Netherlands being pulled off the road. The EPA proposed claw back in biofuel demand and use would result in an increase in GHG emissions in America.

“Globally, if we cut biofuel demand like the EPA proposes, it would significantly hamper our ability to combat climate change because biofuels are the only commercially available alternative to crude oil. “Moreover, the GRFA finds it somewhat ironic that a proposal from the Federal Government’s Agency entrusted with protecting the environment will result in an increase in green house gas emissions,” concluded Baker.

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