EPA Faces Lawsuit for Ethanol’s Impacts on Endangered Species

Source: By JENNA HOFFMAN, AgWeb • Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to “challenge the EPA’s fuel volume requirements for corn ethanol and other biofuels” for 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to CBD’s press release.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to “challenge the EPA’s fuel volume requirements for corn ethanol and other biofuels” for 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to CBD’s press release.
(Farm Journal)

EPA officially issued an emergency waiver in May to allow year-round E15, offering Americans the opportunity to purchase ethanol during summer months for the first time since the renewable fuel standard’s inception under the Energy Policy Act in 2005.

Pump prices quickly dropped following the waiver, with gas currently selling for an average of $4.44 per gallon. However, some are concerned with the environmental impacts tied to increased ethanol production.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to “challenge the EPA’s fuel volume requirements for corn ethanol and other biofuels” for 2020, 2021 and 2022, according to CBD’s press release.

This lawsuit follows the EPA’s release of the 2022 blending requirements earlier this month, with roughly 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 5.63 billion gallons of advanced biofuels.

According to the lawsuit, CBD is challenging the EPA’s effort to “fully assess” the potential impacts increased corn production will have on endangered species, including:
1.    Land conversion
2.    Additional fertilizer use
3.    Increased pesticide use

Brett Hartl, government affairs director at CBD, says the “ever-increasing” amounts of corn will be detrimental to oceans, water and endangered species.

“The renewable fuel program is a colossal boondoggle that gobbles up millions of acres of land. It’s a false solution to the climate crisis, delaying the urgent need to transition to electric vehicles,” he said. “The EPA should have ratcheted back the renewable fuel program instead of increasing the volumes of biofuels required to be produced.”

The Renewable Fuel Association (RFA) passed off the suit and comments, with Troy Bredenkamp, senior vice president for government and public affairs, sharing a rebuttal.

“It is not surprising that an organization with a long history of disdain for beneficial, ag-based biofuels, would base their attack on the RFS citing research that has been substantially discredited by numerous researchers including Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory and Purdue University among others,” he said.

CBD maintains the root issue in corn grown for fuel is that the crop is subject to fewer restrictions on pesticides and fertilizers.

|