NEW EPA REGULATIONS WOULD DAMAGE BIOFUEL SMALL BUSINESSES AND FARMERS
May 21, 2009 -
WASHINGTON, DC – Today lawmakers on the House Committee on Small Business reviewed the impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s May 5th proposed rule will have on biofuel producers and farming industries. The Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Regulations and Healthcare, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) said, “Both the agriculture and biofuels industries have stated that this regulation is not only burdensome, but may be based on faulty science.”
The rule would require the implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS-2) that mandates what types of biofuels are consumed in the United States.
According to the industry representatives, the new rule would jeopardize small businesses in the biofuels industry. Under the EPA’s plan, the process for producing biofuels and the land used in that production would all be taken into consideration in order to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. Under the proposed rule, in order to be considered a qualified renewable fuel, the fuel production must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% over regular fossil fuels. Not only does the formula used by the EPA take into account direct energy inputs it also takes into account indirect land use, such as the requirement to plant new feedstocks in Brazil for renewable fuels if clearing of forest lands in Brazil is undertaken.
Zippy Duvall, President of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation said, “It is unrealistic to think that anyone can predict how agriculture will evolve in the future based on the single variable of biofuels utilization. New and uncertain science to predict land use change has no place in federal regulations.”
There is continuing interest in expanding the U.S. biofuels industry as a strategy for promoting energy security and achieving environmental goals. However, the EPA’s rule must give careful consideration to biofuel producers and farmers, many whom are small businesses, and our nation’s largest job creators.
A 60 day comment period for the regulation is already underway.