New York, NY
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2023-2025. As EPA states, the “final rule includes steady growth of biofuels for use in the nation’s fuel supply for 2023, 2024, and 2025. … When determining biofuel volumes for years after 2022, EPA must consider a variety of factors specified in the statute, including costs, air quality, climate change, implementation of the program to date, energy security, infrastructure issues, commodity prices, water quality, and supply.” Unfortunately, EPA’s rule gives short shrift to most of these statutory considerations.
Earthjustice and the World Resources Institute submitted comments during the rule’s review period that urged the EPA to issue a rule for only one year as it continued to study important issues and adopt a new policy framework to guide the RFS program in line with the shift in technology and electrification that has occurred since 2007.
Following is a statement by Peter Lehner, Managing Attorney, Sustainable Food & Farming Program, Earthjustice:
“EPA’s own studies indicate both the many environmental harms from RFS-propelled corn and soy production and the many uncertainties — at best — regarding the real climate change impact of these fuels. Given those consequences of mandating conventional biofuel volumes over that amount the market itself would demand, this rule is an unfortunate example of politics setting environmental policy, not science or law, and a poor use of 60 million acres of American farmland. This rule will actually harm farmers by slowing efforts to combat climate change, which is already hurting farmers every day.”