EPA Rules Ethanol Green Enough for Fuel Mandates

From Agriculture Online; Story by Dan Looker, Successful Farming magazine Business Editor

“The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final rule for putting the 2007 energy law into effect. The EPA announcement, timed with a White House push for more energy independence, makes it clear that both corn ethanol and soy-based biodiesel will lower greenhouse gas emissions enough to be in the fuel mix as the nation ramps up to using 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.

The EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) found that ethanol’s carbon footprint is at least 20% lower than gasoline, a requirement of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. And soy-biodiesel meets the requirement of being 50% greener than diesel fuel.

When the EPA put out its first draft of the rule last year, it showed that ethanol was only 16% greener than gasoline. That didn’t matter for existing ethanol plants, which are exempt from the tougher greenhouse gas rules under the 2007 law, but it put expansion of corn ethanol beyond a 15 billion gallon mandate in the law in doubt. And it threatened to shut down an already struggling biodiesel industry, when the first draft showed that it was only 22% greener than oil-based diesel fuel. (Biodiesel is still struggling, due to the Senate allowing its tax credit to expire last year.)”

For full story and industry reaction, go to: http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/1265240294558.xml

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