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BIO Asks Congress Not To Subject Biofuels To Double Jeopardy

Climate change legislation should not subject biofuels to double jeopardy in greenhouse gas emission regulation, since they are already regulated under the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

BIO released a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, asking that recently drafted cap-and-trade legislation be amended to clearly state that biofuels, including the biofuel component of fuel blends, are not obligated under the emissions cap because they are already regulated under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

When it comes to climate change legislation, Congress has focused a great deal of attention on stationary emission sources, such as coal-fired power plants. We cannot, however, achieve a low-carbon future without biofuels, because biofuels can play a key role in reducing direct CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. While fossil fuels release carbon that has been stored deep underground for millions of years into the atmosphere, biofuels recycle atmospheric carbon. In some cases, biomass production can sequester more carbon in the soil than is released into the atmosphere through biofuel combustion. Biofuels should therefore not be treated in the same manner as fossil fuels under any climate change cap-and-trade legislation.

Currently drafted legislation to regulate carbon emissions leaves some ambiguity as to whether the biofuels component of fuel blends is counted under the cap. Biofuels are mandated by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to achieve substantial lifecycle greenhouse gas improvements compared to petroleum-based fuels. The performance standards contained in the RFS ensure the climate benefit of future biofuels production. Any effort to place tailpipe emissions of biofuels under the CO2 cap would therefore impose a double greenhouse gas emissions compliance obligation on biofuels.

—Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section

Comments

HarveyD

Doesn't this look a lot like 4 x 4 and pick-ups exclusion from from fuel efficiency regulations?

Mannstein

Heavens forbid the sky is falling no tax and trade on biofuels.

Henry Gibson

Ethanol is a food. It would release less carbon to grow trees and use low speeds than to make ethanol. the 100 units of fossil energy input gives only 130 ethanol out. Just use 130 fossil and grow trees to absorb 30 units. ..HG..

richard schumacher

The Biotechnology Industry Organization might overstate the importance of biofuels in reducing global warming, but it does make one very important point. Any regulation, carbon tax, or cap-and-trade regime must carefully distinguish between fossil carbon and non-fossil carbon. Only fossil carbon, derived from coal, petroleum, or natural gas, contributes to increased global warming. Non-fossil carbon, whether derived from biological sources or extracted directly from the atmosphere by artificial processes, does not contribute to global warming. Fuels made using non-fossil carbon will be an important part of global warming strategies and must not be penalized along with fossil carbon fuels.

SJC

Ethanol is NOT a food, it is alcohol and has NO nutritional value. You have posted this statement several times and it is non sense. Just because no one challenges it does not mean everyone or anyone agrees with you.

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