Tricia Braid

Jun 27, 2013  |  Today's News

Under an intense line of questioning from U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, an EPA expert ‘witness’ indicated his agency has no plans to update their scientific modeling with regard to the life-cycle analysis of corn. Translation? Although EPA asserts it’s interested in the newest and best science available, their policies will continue to discriminate against corn-based ethanol.

Early this week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Power held a subcommittee hearing to consider the status of the Renewable Fuel Standard. To the casual observer, what really happened was the RFS was on trial with those Representatives who oppose the legislation openly stating their desire to repeal the law. Three witnesses were questioned covering the EPA, Energy Information Administration, and USDA.

The witnesses included the Hon. Adam Sieminski (Administrator,Energy Information Administration), Mr. Christopher Grundler (Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation, EPA) and Dr. Joseph Glauber (Chief Economist, USDA). The EPA has primary oversight responsibility for the RFS program, with input from other agencies including the Department of Energy, USDA, and the EIA.

Committee member Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago), posed this question to Mr. Grundler: “There has been a tremendous amount of peer reviewed research and modeling conducted to estimate the reduced greenhouse gas emissions realized with conventional biofuels which would help show that the RFS is working.   These new numbers show that some conventional biofuels are 50% less than the CO2 emissions of 2005 base gasoline.  When will EPA update their numbers on the carbon index for conventional biofuels?”

Grundler’s response? EPA won’t be updating their model numbers.

Wait. What?

EPA has no intention of updating how they characterize the environmental benefits delivered by corn-based ethanol. It would be, according to Gundler, “fairly disruptive” to people that have made their plans.  Click here to read the transcript of their conversation.

Illinois Corn will continue to provide evidence to EPA and Congress that corn-based ethanol is getting the short-end of the stick.

Illinois Corn expresses our gratitude to Congressman Rush and also to Congressman Shimkus, both of whom spoke during the hearing in support of the RFS and corn-based ethanol.