Scientists Defend Biofuels in RFS Court Filing

USAgNet - 07/09/2024

Eight of the nation's top agricultural, biomass, and greenhouse gas (GHG) lifecycle scientists filed an amicus brief on July 3rd that challenged the faulty assumptions underpinning a number of attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) v. EPA et al. (Case No. 23-1177).

Growth Energy, the nation's largest biofuel trade association, highlighted the importance of the brief in a statement:

"The new brief from America's top lifecycle experts sends a clear signal--it's time for environmental advocates to stop parroting fossil fuel companies and start supporting low-carbon biofuels at the gas pump," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. Decades of data have demonstrated again and again that bioethanol has not increased crop acreage--in fact, U.S. farm acreage has been largely unchanged since the 1930s. Even the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) rejected similar claims in a letter to Growth Energy acknowledging the scientific consensus that U.S. ethanol slashes greenhouse gas emissions by 44 to 52 percent."

"It's time for environmentalist skeptics of biofuels to listen to the experts and let go of outdated and debunked research" she added. "The scientists who filed the amicus brief in support of EPA provide a clear-eyed and honest assessment of the environmental profile of biofuel production, and we look forward to working with any group that wants to help us expand access to lower-carbon bioethanol."

To access the full brief, users can register for an account through the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system and search for the case (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Case No. 23-1177, Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.). It was submitted on behalf of:

Dr. David Clay, Distinguished Professor of Soil Science at South Dakota State University, Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Editor in Chief for the American Society of Agronomy, and the South Dakota Corn Endowed Chair of Precision Farming.

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