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Growth Energy Urges CARB to Follow the Science, Maintain Bioethanol’s Exemption from Cap-and-Trade Program

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.—Growth Energy, the nation’s largest biofuels trade association, submitted comments today to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as part of its effort to revise the state’s cap and trade regulations. Specifically, the comments called on CARB to approve the use of E15—a fuel blend made with 15% bioethanol that can run in 96% of the vehicles on the road today—and pushed back against unscientific and outdated lifecycle calculations that greatly understate the environmental benefits of bioethanol.

“Bioethanol and other exempt biofuels such as biodiesel and renewable diesel make up the bulk of the credits generated under state’s low carbon fuel standard and have been pillars on which the program’s GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions reductions have been built,” said Growth Energy in its comment. “Given the GHG reductions that bioethanol has already achieved, California has the potential to reduce GHG by 1.9M tons per year with the approval of E15 alongside the continued growth in the use of E85.”

Growth Energy also urged CARB not to be swayed by outdated figures that paint an inaccurate picture of bioethanol’s environmental impact. “CARB’s concerns about the use of crop-based biofuels and their impact on land use are misplaced and unfounded. These fears have been largely based on outdated and flawed data,” the comment said. “While CARB currently has an indirect land use change value (ILUC) of 19.8 gCO2e/MJ, a review of the more recent science over the last five years indicates a decreasing trend in land use values with the newer data indicating values closer to 4 gCO2e/MJ. The ILUC value should reflect the latest science that better addresses innovation and increasing yields in agriculture.”

Read Growth Energy’s full comment here.

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