EPA's Proposal Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions, BIO Says

2014 RFS proposal will increase use of oil and associated emissions

WASHINGTON--()--The 2014 proposed rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which would for the first time cut biofuel use, will require using more petroleum and increase emissions of greenhouse gases. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) utilized the GREET1.2013 model to estimate the changes in petroleum demand and the associated CO2 equivalent emissions from both 2013 and the statutory RFS levels for 2014.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, noted, “The bottom line on the administration’s proposed 2014 RFS rule is that, if left unchanged, it will increase our reliance on foreign oil and increase emissions of greenhouse gases. By stopping growth in use of biofuels, the proposed rule will stymie the commercialization of advanced and cellulosic biofuels and discourage additional innovation in the biotechnology industry.

“The RFS was intended to set the United States on a long-term path to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This proposed rule reverses that path and results in environmental backsliding.”

In 2013, the United States is projected to use 173 billion gallons of petroleum blendstocks (both gasoline and diesel) and 16 billion gallons of biofuels. The 2014 proposal – as written would require more than 175 billion gallons of petroleum and lower biofuel use to 15 billion gallons. If EPA maintained the statutory levels of biofuels, the United States would reduce use of petroleum to 172 billion gallons of petroleum and increase use of biofuels to 18 billion gallons.

Using GREET1.2013 estimates of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with both petroleum and biofuels, the EPA proposal will result in an increase of more than 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Maintaining the RFS statutory volumes of biofuel would decrease emissions by nearly 7 metric million tons.

Using EPA’s own estimates of the greenhouse has intensity of different fuel choices, the proposal would still result in an increase of nearly 23 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Achieving the statutory use of biofuels would decrease emissions by nearly 13 million metric tons.

Erickson concluded, “What the administration failed to consider before issuing the recent RFS proposal is that while gasoline use is projected to decline, diesel fuel use will continue to increase as it has for the past few years. EPA can and should maintain the RFS requirement to increase use of biofuels, rather than begin backsliding on the greenhouse gas emissions.”

About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter.” Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

Upcoming BIO Events

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy
December 8-11, 2013
San Diego, CA

BIO CEO & Investor Conference
February 10-11, 2014
New York, NY

BIO Asia International Conference
April 8-9, 2014
Tokyo, Japan

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology
May 12-15, 2014
Philadelphia, PA

BIO International Convention
June 23-26, 2014
San Diego, CA

Livestock Biotech Summit
September 16-18, 2014
Sioux Falls, SD

Contacts

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
Paul Winters, 202-962-9237
pwinters@bio.org
Web: www.bio.org
Blog: www.biotech-now.org
Twitter: @IAmBiotech

Release Summary

EPA's proposed RFS rule for 2014 will increase use of petroleum and greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 2013. It will also forego emission reductions in the statute.

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Contacts

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
Paul Winters, 202-962-9237
pwinters@bio.org
Web: www.bio.org
Blog: www.biotech-now.org
Twitter: @IAmBiotech