American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) consultant Jonathon Lehman was on a panel entitled “Reducing Carbon Intensity in Renewable Fuels with Climate Smart Farming Practices” with representatives from Gevo and the American Society of Agronomy at the OPIS LCFS and Carbon Markets Workshop this week in California.
“USDA estimates U.S. farmers currently store 20 million metric tons of carbon per year and could store an additional 180 million metric tons annually, representing 12 to 14 percent of U.S. carbon emissions through the adoption of conservation practices,” Lehman said. “Despite this potential, state and federal low carbon fuel programs do not count on-farm carbon benefits toward greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”
“Regulators, such as those in California’s LCFS program, do not yet credit GHG reductions achieved through carbon sequestering conservation practices in ethanol feedstock production, in part, because they want better, localized quantification, verification and modeling protocols to grant access to these markets,” Lehman added. “The ACE-led RCPP project will provide a prototype for how clean fuel policies can reward farmers for climate-smart practices that reduce the overall carbon intensity of corn ethanol, while also serving as a practical application to gain regulators’ acceptance and build farmer interest by demonstrating the economic value of clean fuel policies.”
Lehman’s company Cultivating Conservation helps leverage USDA conservation programs to address critical environmental challenges to benefit farmers and natural resources and is an expert in the ACE-led Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project.