Growth Energy Responds to New York Times Citing Lark in Climate Forward Newsletter

The letter below was submitted to the editor of the New York Times after a recent subscriber-only newsletter included debunked claims about the environmental impact of bioethanol in a piece about sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

A May 2 newsletter on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) would leave readers with the false impression that the environmental benefits of ethanol are subject to debate.

Years of peer-reviewed research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Health and Engineering and other institutions have all concluded that today’s ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% compared to gasoline.

Bogus “science” claiming otherwise does not pass the smell test. The research by Tyler Lark, cited in the newsletter, has been debunked and dismissed by the nation’s top climate scientists, including those at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, and University of Illinois-Chicago, among others. They exposed Mr. Lark for making “questionable assumptions,” “double counting” emissions, and using “outdated and inaccurate projections” to attack the climate benefits of ethanol.

Allowing that same misinformation to be used as a political weapon against low-carbon aviation fuels would be foolish – and a disservice to America’s climate ambitions.

Submitted to New York Times editor Mr. Thomas Feyer on May 6, 2024.