Coalition Urges EPA to Remove Roadblocks

Kelly MarshallAg Group, environment, EPA

biogenic-co2-coalitionToday agriculture groups have come together as the Biogenic CO2 Coalition to urge the Environmental Protection Agency  to stop blocking the development of emerging bioeconomy.

The Biogenic CO2 Coalition is a working group of leading trade associations and companies that support American farmers and the national “bioeconomy” that a new USDA economic analysis estimates to be $393 billion, provides 4.2 million American jobs, and is the leading source of domestic renewable energy. The Coalition recently sent letters to 2016 Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, urging them to support American farmers and processors by announcing their support of the bioeconomy and recognition that agriculture offers key solutions to energy and environmental policy challenges.

Under its recent Clean Power Plan and other policies, EPA has been treating farm products as sources of greenhouse gas pollution. EPA should recognize that farm feedstocks are not the same as fossil fuels or petrochemicals. When farmers grow crops, they store carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and when agricultural feedstocks are used for food, fuel and fiber, CO2 simply returns to the atmosphere in a natural biogenic cycle.

“The Biogenic CO2 Coalition has shared its concerns with EPA and offered our resources to assist with its deliberations, but now is the time to increase public awareness by formally launching our initiative,” stated John Bode, Chairman of the Biogenic CO2 Coalition and President & CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. “We would likeEPA to recognize, even on an interim basis while it continues to deliberate, the life-cycle benefits from crop-based feedstocks compared to fossil fuels and petrochemicals,” Bode continued.

The Coalition states that emissions from use or processing of crops should be a zero under the Clean Air Acgt, that the EPA should retract its attempt to regulate sustainable farming practices in its Clean Power Plan rule making, and that Congress should prevent the EPA from unnecessarily regulating farmers and processors.

Individuals may contact the EPA to weigh in on these issues as well.