BIO wants better greenhouse emission models
Nov 20, 2008 9:32 AM
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) wants the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a better scientific model for greenhouse gas emissions measurements before releasing estimates that may understate the benefit from biofuels, according to BIO information.
"The EPA must establish a sound, science-based model for measuring net greenhouse gas emissions related to biofuels production before releasing estimates that may understate the positive role biofuels play in reducing climate change emissions," BIO stated in a news release. The organization is urging EPA to release and seek comment on the methodology it is using to estimate the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels, particularly those attributed to international land use change, as called for in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
BIO noted in a letter to the EPA the difficulty the EPA faces in combining data from existing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools that measure direct emissions with immature models that attempt to estimate indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
“If the proposed rule contains numerical results from flawed models published prior to the maturing of modeling tools, it could have a range of perverse effects, including discouraging and chilling investment and curbing US production and use of all biofuels," the letter stated. "Without a more sophisticated understanding of international land use change variables and interactions, a rule risks discouraging production of biofuels that truly do reduce US greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to energy security.”
The letter pointed out that: “Many companies have been racing to develop next-generation cellulosic biofuels and deploy the technology to meet those requirements. There are currently more than 30 facilities across the United States planned, under construction, or beginning operation to pioneer production of advanced biofuels made from renewable resources such as corn stalks, grasses, wood chips, and even trash. The US has invested more than $1 billion in continuing research and in building these facilities, and that investment has been matched by the industry. These facilities represent the first step toward building a large-scale biofuel industry that can meet growing US transportation fuel needs. We need to ensure that we don’t inadvertently derail this effort to commercialize truly sustainable biofuels technologies.”
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