Washington, D.C. – Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement in response to a Reuters article that recycles highly misleading claims about ethanol’s climate benefits based on a widely debunked study by Tyler Lark and others.
“Today’s Reuters article is another rehash of the same false assumptions behind a study released in February that has been debunked and dismissed by the nation’s top climate scientists, including those at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Environmental Health and Engineering, and University of Illinois-Chicago, among others. The scientists found that Lark’s study was guilty of making ‘questionable assumptions,’ ‘double counting’ emissions, and using ‘outdated and inaccurate projections’ to attack the climate benefits of ethanol.
“Compounding the distortion, by its own admission, the Reuters analysis cherry-picked one isolated part of the carbon lifecycle – where yeast ferments renewable starch into fuel and CO2 – while ignoring CO2 taken out of the atmosphere when growing crops, tailpipe reductions, or even the biogenic CO2 captured for reuse in beverages, refrigeration, and meatpacking. By repeating false claims from Lark and others without any meaningful context, the report does little more than lend ammunition to misinformation campaigns aimed at halting climate progress.
“In fact, DOE recently wrote to Growth Energy confirming that the administration shares ‘concerns about the methods and assumptions used in the [Lark] study and are taking steps to ensure that more widely accepted science is shared in the public domain.’ The agency also noted that the most recent DOE study in 2021 found that U.S. corn ethanol has 44-54% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than petroleum gasoline, while similar research at Harvard and other institutions found that conventional ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 46% relative to gasoline.
“Those conclusions reflect the overwhelmingly scientific consensus that ethanol is a lower-carbon fuel option that can immediately reduce emissions on the road today and should be a mainstay in any national climate strategy. Additional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Air Resources Board, Rhodium Group, and other leading public and private entities all affirm that plant-based biofuels are a powerful tool for lowering emissions and air pollution. In California alone, under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, 70% of the greenhouse gas reductions achieved have been credited to biofuels.
“This isn’t the first hit piece orchestrated by those opposed to renewable energy, and it won’t be the last. That’s why Growth Energy will never stop fighting to make sure the American public, and our elected officials, are armed with the truth. For more information, we urge anyone interested in real climate solutions to get the facts at growthenergy.org/climate.”