— 18 Senators Request EPA Clarity Biogenic Emissions —
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) joined its Biogenic CO2 Coalition counterparts in supporting a bipartisan letter signed by 18 Senators which called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide regulatory clarity on the de minimis nature of biogenic carbon emissions generated from the processing of agricultural feedstocks such as corn, soybeans, oilseeds and farm residues.
“We are very pleased that such a strong group of Senators is working with EPA to make this critical regulatory fix a top priority,” said John Bode, CRA President and CEO. “As the economic gap between rural and urban America continues to widen, it is vital that we continue to seek out solutions that can spur robust bioeconomic development in America’s heartland.”
The Senate letter cited the economic benefits of the change, noting that, “In 2016, the U.S. bioeconomy was valued at $459 billion,” and arguing, “This is EPA’s opportunity to clear a pathway for our rural communities to advance both economically and environmentally.” Comparatively, the European Union bioeconomy in 2015 was valued at $688 billion, evidence that the US is at risk of being left behind. Five governors wrote a similar letter to the EPA in August encouraging the agency to act on this issue.
Importantly, the Senators’ proposal is backed by the consensus of sound science. Their letter notes,
“Multiple scientific studies have stated that the carbon dioxide absorbed during growth and photosynthesis by renewable agricultural feedstocks, such as corn, soybeans, and oilseeds, and the carbon dioxide released during the processing, fermentation or combustion of those same feedstocks is more or less equal within a one-year cycle. This means biogenic carbon emissions from such facilities are not contributing to long-term increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.”
Even still, the EPA has not clarified the treatment of biogenic carbon emissions in the context of the Clean Air Act, which has created a barrier for investment in infrastructure and jobs that would support the U.S. bioeconomy and economic growth in rural America.
For over a decade, agricultural crop producers, processors and members of this coalition have requested on multiple occasions that EPA act on this issue.
Members of the Biogenic CO2 Coalition include:
• American Bakers Association
• American Farm Bureau Federation
• Corn Refiners Association
• Enginuity Worldwide
• National Corn Growers Association
• National Cotton Council of America
• National Cottonseed Products Association
• National Oilseed Processors Association
• North American Millers’ Association
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, starch, advanced bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.