OVERSIGHT OR OMISSION? EPA AND ADMINISTRATION NOT ACKNOWLEDING ETHANOL

Tricia Braid

May, 28, 2014  |  Today's News

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the third edition of a report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States. The report pulls together observed data on key measures of our environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. Our question at IL Corn is, Why does the Administration not recognize the positive influence that ethanol can play in any program to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

With 30 indicators that include over 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the Administration’s report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society. Whether you buy into that or not, many governmental agencies are.

“These indicators make it clear that climate change is a serious problem and is happening now here in the U.S. and around the world,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Everything we do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the changes that are already underway will help us safeguard our children’s future.”

Okay, Ms. McCabe…then why doesn’t the U.S. EPA support corn ethanol? A growing body of research, a portion of which has been supported by Illinois corn checkoff dollars, CLEARLY proves the value of corn-ethanol in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

YET CORN ETHANOL REMAINS NOWHERE IN THE GOVERNMENT’S PLANS TO ADDRESS GHG.

Illinois corn farmers are safeguarding their children’s futures every day. Along with their own, they’re safeguarding the future of countless other children. It’s high time EPA recognizes that.

Steffen Mueller, PhD Principal Research Economist, offers these observations.

“Our research has demonstrated that today’s average corn-based ethanol does indeed reduce GHG emissions compared to petroleum—even when potential indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions are considered for ethanol.

“Further, our work has shown that the ethanol industry has a uniquely high rate of innovation and technology adoption, which has resulted in steady reductions in GHG impacts.

“Corn ethanol constitutes a 60% reduction from petroleum baseline on greenhouse gas emissions.”