WASHINGTON, DC – Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, called on the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to allow the public to comment on documents pertaining to their low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) rulemaking that were not disclosed and should influence the final rule. Through a public records request, Growth Energy uncovered numerous previously undisclosed documents and comments from ARB consultants that cast doubt on ARB conclusions and others that appeared to influence ARB’s assumptions.
Following the discovery, Growth Energy issued a letter to ARB, calling on them to reopen the public comment period and allow comment on all documents received by ARB in connection with the LCFS as mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). These include documents commenting on detailed environmental analyses of the LCFS developed by other corn ethanol stakeholders, including the Renewable Fuels Association and the New Fuels Alliance. The letter to ARB also included eight questions to which Growth Energy is seeking answers.
“The public records request confirmed what we suspected: that significant portions of the ARB staff’s environmental and economic analyses appeared to be based on assumptions, rather than technical analyses available to the public,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “Even more disturbing are the omitted comments from ARB consultants that contradict the conclusions reached by ARB staff regarding the carbon intensity of ethanol.”
In the letter, Growth Energy notes that Dr. Thomas Hertel, professor at Purdue University and the senior member of ARB’s advisory team for GTAP, called ARB’s use of the GTAP results in the regulation “rather arbitrary,” and “much less defensible” than an alternative he supported.
Also omitted from the public rulemaking file was a PowerPoint presentation from Dr. Hertel to ARB stating that the GTAP model “is better suited to generating insights and ranges of results than to generating specific numbers,” yet ARB used GTAP to generate a specific ILUC number for ethanol.
“We are only one-third of the way through our public records request and have discovered scores of comments and documents not disclosed to the public that prejudiced the final LCFS rule,” Buis said. “Selective disclosure is not an option in something this important. To not allow public review and comment on these would be a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and a perversion of the democratic process.”
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 GrowthEnergy.org.