WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growth Energy today said the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new “anti-backsliding” report on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) side-steps the wide body of evidence supporting a clear scientific consensus around the clean air benefits of homegrown ethanol. The study, required by the Clean Air Act and released as part of a consent decree reached in February 2019, rehashed outdated information while omitting critical data on the environmental advantages of low-carbon biofuels.
“It’s disappointing to see this EPA miss another chance to correct outdated claims which minimize contributions of U.S. biofuels to clean air and a healthy climate,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “The Renewable Fuel Standard has stood the test of time as America’s single most successful clean energy policy, driving down greenhouse gas emissions while displacing toxic petroleum-based aromatics, like benzene, a known carcinogen.
“The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent or more compared to traditional gasoline, with corn ethanol’s relative carbon benefits reaching as high as 70 percent. And a vast trove of public, private, and academic studies shows how continuous innovation has allowed us to ramp up biofuel production year after year, without expanding our environmental footprint. The data is clear. Without ethanol, we would be rolling back the clock, with higher emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and smog-forming pollutants linked to cancer, as well as neurological, cardiovascular, and reproductive damage.
“Clean energy leaders and health experts, including those at the American Lung Association, are all speaking out about the importance of alternative fuels like ethanol for protecting our respiratory health, now more than ever. And new research from experts like Dr. Steffen Mueller at the University of Illinois Chicago shows that cleaner biofuel blends can improve health outcomes and save lives.
Learn more about biofuels’ contribution to clean air and a healthy climate here.