WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Growth Energy submitted comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “anti-backsliding” report on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The draft study, required by the Clean Air Act and released in May 2020 as part of a consent decree reached in February 2019, omitted critical data on the environmental advantages of low-carbon biofuels.

“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,” said Growth Energy Senior Vice President Chris Bliley. “An ever-growing body of evidence confirms ethanol’s role in protecting air quality, and EPA should not be passing up an opportunity to showcase these clean energy solutions.”

In the organization’s written comments, Growth Energy offered a detailed technical analysis on the clean air benefits of homegrown ethanol, illustrating areas where “the Anti-Backsliding Study overstates the RFS’ potential adverse impacts on air quality and understates the emissions and air quality benefits of ethanol-blended fuels.”

Despite the omissions, Growth Energy stressed its support for the agency’s final determination that additional fuel control measures are unnecessary.

“Correction of the Anti-backsliding Study to address these errors would reinforce EPA’s conclusion that new fuel regulations are unnecessary under Section 211(v),” wrote Growth Energy. “In any event, even without such corrections, EPA’s existing analysis amply supports that no new fuels regulations are necessary.”

However, the addition of real-world data would offer policymakers a more accurate view of ethanol’s role in improving air quality, added Growth Energy.

“Using the actual fuel properties of E10 in conventional areas to recreate EPA’s emissions analysis results in substantial decreases in NOx, VOC, and PM emissions, as well as even greater reductions in benzene and 1,3 butadiene, both potent air toxics, as well as carbon monoxide,” wrote Growth Energy. “The emissions reductions associated with the replacement of aromatics with ethanol are consistent with a broad body of scientific literature substantiating the emissions benefits of ethanol-blended fuels.”

To read Growth Energy’s comments on EPA’s “anti-backsliding” report, click here.

To learn more about the contributions of biofuels to clean air and a healthy climate, click here.

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