US EPA too concerned with GHG reduction - US ethanol group

24 September 2009 21:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A US ethanol group blasted the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday, saying the regulatory agency was overly concerned with greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

“In pursuing its greenhouse gas agenda, EPA is threatening to short circuit the success the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is achieving by reducing America’s tab with foreign oil producers,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen.

Decreasing US reliance on foreign oil and stimulating struggling economies are equally important goals to reducing GHG emissions, he said.

The EPA is considering a new set of rules that would become part of RFS, the legislation that governs how the US consumes ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels.

The expanded version of the RFS, called RFS2, could have a lasting impact on the US renewable fuels programme.

A top concern in the ethanol industry is the methodology the EPA is considering to measure the so-called indirect land-use impact from growing biofuels.

Biofuels advocates claim the methodology could unfairly penalise biodiesel and ethanol by holding renewable and conventional fuels to completely different standards.

The EPA seems to be ignoring the benefits of biofuels by seeking GHG reductions based on unproven theory, the RFA said, referring to the methodology and rules being considered by the regulator.

An EPA representative was not immediately available for comment.

The agency is taking public comments for the RFS2 until 25 September.

The EPA on Tuesday announced the completion of a new monitoring system to measure GHG emissions.

The goverment will require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions in the US to begin collecting (GHG) data under the new system in January 2010.

The program will cover approximately 85% of GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities in the US, the EPA said.

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By: William Lemos
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