Biofuels, including plant-based ethanol, are critical tools for decarbonizing America’s existing transportation fleet, replacing toxic pollutants in gasoline, and supporting family farms and job to strengthen economies in rural America. With many states and localities increasingly exploring public policy options to combat climate change, the use of biofuels can immediately lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce harmful air toxics, and provide affordable solutions to consumers and lawmakers alike.
Biofuels like ethanol significantly reduce GHGs today and will play a key role in achieving decarbonization in the transportation sector in the future. At the same time, biofuel producers are encouraging more sustainable farming practices to find further GHG reductions in the agriculture sector and meet growing demand for renewable products.
In 2018, the transportation sector accounted for 28% of U.S. emissions, the leading source of all emissions in the United States. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, light-duty vehicles compromise nearly 55% of total transportation emissions, meaning an increased level of low-carbon ethanol blends will immediately help reduce a major factor in U.S. emissions.
Since 2011, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program has relied heavily on biofuels to achieve meaningful greenhouse gas reductions. We have ten years of hard data to analyze the continued improvements in ethanol’s environmental performance and efficiency. Data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) shows that the carbon intensity (CI) for ethanol has dropped dramatically, even as the carbon intensity of gasoline has increased:
While gasoline’s CI increased from 95.9 g CO2e/MJ (grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule) to 100.9, ethanol made significant CI improvements from 88.5 to 59.3. With proper incentives and carbon credit allotments, this metric continues to demonstrate ongoing progress by the nation’s farmers and ethanol producers.
In addition to reducing carbon pollution, biofuels like ethanol improve air quality by reducing other types of pollution caused by gasoline. Studies have found that, when added to gasoline, ethanol reduces emissions of ultra-fine particulates found in smog and toxic emissions at the tailpipe. Moreover, the higher the ethanol blend, the greater the health benefits. This fact is particularly important as we work to improve air quality in our cities and at-risk communities.
Ethanol's proven environmental benefits make it a key piece of our nation's goals to decarbonize the transport sector. We look forward to working with nominee for Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on the clean energy solutions she focused on in her Senate hearing. https://t.co/BsDm5so53r
.@POTUS's executive order is a reminder of the link between our climate + our economy, and we’re eager to help the Administration deliver on promises to unleash biofuels as a key solution to climate change + restore economic opportunity in rural America. growthenergy.org/2021/01/27/gro…
A new study published by researchers from Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., Harvard University and Tufts University shows corn #ethanol emits 46 percent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gasoline.https://t.co/fn49TbwlqL https://t.co/pIbYDv7wnz