Biogenic CO2 Coalition urges Congress to monitor EPA rule
Noting news reports that the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to advance a rule addressing biogenic CO2 from woody biomass, but not from annual crops, a coalition of farmers and agricultural crop processors said in a letter to Congress that, while it would support EPA’s position that woody biomass does not contribute to excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it would strongly object to EPA’s failure to address the need for a similar determination for biogenic emissions from the processing of agricultural feedstocks.
“Extensive scientific literature and positions of government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agree that biogenic emissions from crop-based feedstocks are carbon neutral, de minimis or insignificant from a carbon accounting and regulatory perspective. There is no scientific or practical reason for EPA to ignore the life cycle of annual crops,” the Bogenic CO2 Coalition wrote Monday.
Signing the letter as members of the coalition were the American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Cottonseed Products Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Millers’ Association, and the Plant Based Products Council
The coalition also reiterated that continued inaction by the EPA is particularly harmful to the development of the U.S. bioeconomy.
“The bioeconomy provides 21st century solutions to economic growth, domestic energy security, and environmental benefits in the form of bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts made from corn, oilseeds, crop residues, farm wastes and other agricultural feedstocks.
“America’s bioeconomy currently contributes $393 billion in economic activity, provides 4.2 million American jobs, and is the leading source of domestic renewable energy in the United States. Building on the success of pioneering biotechnology, our coalition members are poised to invest billions of dollars in rural America. Without regulatory relief, that significant opportunity for rural America’s economic development will be missed and American farmers will face even greater competition from overseas,” the letter states.
“[W]e respectfully urge your efforts to provide EPA the congressional input that it apparently needs to recognize the biogenic CO2 from annual crops is de minimis.” the coalition said.
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign SB 21-87, known as the Farm Workers Bill of Rights, though much of the content will be decided through the rulemaking process.