Growth Energy to California: Do Low-Carbon Right

WASHINGTON, DC — American ethanol coalition Growth Energy filed new scientific data challenging California’s proposal to penalize biofuels production by imposing the ill-conceived “international indirect land use change” assessments as part of the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

“Growth Energy supports a Low Carbon Fuel Standard – as long as it is done right. And the Low Carbon Fuel Standard proposed by the California Air Resources Board is not done right. It relies on a flawed, unproven and unscientific concept that would punish biofuels, despite the opportunity biofuels like ethanol provide as cleaner, greener fuels that are an alternative to dirty foreign oil,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “There is now new scientific evidence that undermines the entire concept of ‘international indirect land use change.’ At the end of the day, neither the American farmer who produces biomass for fuel, nor the American citizen who wants to choose a low-carbon fuel like ethanol over gasoline, should have to pay the cost of the Brazilian government’s struggle to manage their own forests.”

In April, CARB initially approved the LCFS regulation. CARB included provisions in the regulation that, if approved, would eliminate corn ethanol from the California market – even though corn ethanol is the only practical alternative to gasoline refined from petroleum oil for most consumers, and the only one that uses domestic resources. CARB based its regulatory ILUC penalty on corn ethanol based on results from a disputed model called the Global Trade Analysis Project (or “GTAP”) model. The LCFS regulation is now undergoing post-hearing review by the CARB Executive Officer, who late last month called for new comments on the regulation.

Growth Energy filed copies of new scientific reports disproving CARB’s position on ILUC in its comments to the proposed regulation, and explained why CARB is legally required to consider the scientific data:

* New research from Monsanto showing that advanced seeds will boost corn yields as high as 300 bushels per acre by 2030. Equally important, Monsanto’s work shows that yields per acre in both corn and soybeans are improving faster on a percentage basis globally than in the U.S. This means that the world will not need to convert a single additional acre as a result of ethanol usage in California.
* New evidence from research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (“ORNL”) in Tennessee, an Energy Department-supported facility, which directly contradicts the disputed models and assumptions on which CARB has relied.
* Other new evidence about the GTAP model comes from Purdue University, where the GTAP model was developed. In August 2009, Prof. Wally Tyner of Purdue, a leading GTAP expert, presented results from an updated model showing indirect land-use emissions 20 percent lower than the previous model used by CARB. Growth Energy’s filing argues that CARB would be basing its regulation on seriously flawed modeling if it finalized its LCFS using the old and now outdated GTAP results on which it relied last spring.
* The CARB proposal also is also inequitable. Growth Energy submitted an expert report demonstrating that CARB is neglecting significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions, which would result from the increased use of cane-based ethanol in California.


About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at