Growth Energy Calls on EPA to Expand Biofuels Use to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Growth Energy submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to expand biofuels use in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s comments were in response to a proposed rulemaking last month by EPA to decarbonize light-duty vehicles for model years 2023 through 2026. The association notes in its comments:

“We appreciate EPA’s work to reshape the nation’s transportation mix to make it more sustainable — this is a central driver for our industry as well. Vehicles and fuels operate as a system and liquid fuels will continue to play a dominant role in the transportation sector for decades to come, even as alternative fuels flourish. As such, it is imperative to consider the vital role that environmentally sustainable fuel options such as ethanol will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the current and future vehicle fleet. It is also imperative to consider full lifecycle emissions of all vehicle and fuel technologies to accurately evaluate the profiles and the benefits of vehicles using different fuels and energy sources.

“Ethanol is the most available and affordable means to immediately clean up our liquid fuel supply. Recent data from Environmental Health and Engineering show today’s corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 46% compared to gasoline and can provide reductions of up to 70% with the use of readily available technologies. Ethanol’s other environmental benefits are also noteworthy. As has been researched, the use of more ethanol and ethanol-blended fuel reduces air toxics such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and other harmful particulates.”

Growth Energy’s comments follow testimony before EPA from Growth Energy’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley in response to the proposed rulemaking.

Previous Action

In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) developed more stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for vehicles. Growth Energy, recognizing the need for a high-octane, low-carbon solution for automakers to meet these more stringent standards, submitted an E30 fuel for vehicle certification as well as for consumer use, as the agencies went through the process of setting standards.

Again, in 2013, as EPA was putting together its proposal for Tier 3 fuel regulation, Growth Energy pushed to have midlevel ethanol blends be used for vehicle certification and were successful in getting the ability for automakers to use alternative fuels for certification in the final rule.

Finally, as the Obama Administration undertook their mid-term evaluation of the vehicle standards and, subsequently, when the Trump Administration moved to reconsider future vehicles standards, Growth Energy participated by echoing our call for high octane, low-carbon, midlevel ethanol blends as a necessary solution to meet the future vehicle standards.