After a new report found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than gasoline, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) – a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee – is pushing the Biden Administration to acknowledge the environmental benefits of biofuel and to use the data as part of their policymaking. Ernst is helping reintroduce bipartisan legislation that will require the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel and to fully recognize biofuel’s environmental benefits.
“As scientists have shown, biofuel offers consumers across America a cleaner, more affordable choice at the pump,” Senator Ernst said. “The Biden Administration’s current greenhouse gas modeling system is badly out-of-date and simply fails to recognize the scientifically-proven environmental benefits of ethanol and biodiesel. I’m pleased to be a part of this bipartisan effort urging President Biden to acknowledge the environmental benefits of biofuel and to make sure that this important data will be used as a part of his administration’s policymaking.”
The Adopt GREET (Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use Act in Transportation Model) Act would require EPA to adopt the Argonne National Lab’s GREET Model for ethanol and biodiesel fuels. EPA would then be required to update its modeling every five years or report to Congress to affirm its modeling is current or otherwise explain why no updates were made.
A new report published by the Environmental Research Letters found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol are 46% lower than gasoline. David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer of Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), stated about the study: “Our findings indicated that displacement of gasoline with ethanol produced from biofuels yields greater greenhouse gas benefits than are generally recognized and that prior analyses of the payback period for conversion of land to corn production should be updated. We believe the results of our analysis are relevant to continued development and refinement of low carbon fuel standard programs in the US.”
Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are the lead sponsors on the Adopt GREET Act.