The Biogenic CO2 Coalition today announced the release of a new video and digital ad campaign asking why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the only environmental agency in the world to treat carbon emissions from common agricultural crops the exact same as those from fossil fuels. The video further urges the EPA to follow sound science and to take long overdue steps to revitalize America’s rural economy.
“A single policy change could increase access to innovative plant-based products that are better for our environment and revitalize a depressed rural economy. It’s time for EPA to follow sound science and look toward the future by emphasizing the importance of renewable and sustainable products,” the new Coalition ad says.
The EPA is soon expected to request public comment on whether to continue to regulate CO2 emissions from agricultural crops on the same basis as fossil fuels. As outlined in a recent letter to Congress signed by more than 20 leading scientists, it is imperative that EPA act swiftly to adopt a rule that recognizes the de minimis character of biogenic carbon emissions from annual agricultural crops.
Public support for such a rulemaking has mounted in recent months, as the Coalition announced earlier this week that constituents from key Midwest states have sent more than 10,000 letters to their representatives in Congress urging them to weigh in with EPA on this critical issue.
Recently, the Biogenic CO2 Coalition commended the efforts of Members of Congress including Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS). In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, these lawmakers urged the EPA to act swiftly to provide regulatory clarity on biogenic CO2 from annual farm crops. Additionally, this letter also called on the EPA to include language in the upcoming woody biomass rule which would solicit public comment on biogenic CO2 from annual farm crops. This would open a window of opportunity for the EPA to provide regulatory relief to our country’s rural communities.
As noted in the letter, the U.S. bioeconomy currently supports 4.6 million jobs and is poised to support even more once this issue is addressed. Farmers, processors, and manufacturers are likely to make significant investments into new technology, rural development, and infrastructure once the EPA recognizes the de minimis nature of natural carbon emissions from farm crops. This letter is yet another example of the growing support for a reform of biogenic CO2 regulation for annual farm crops.
18 Senators from both political parties also sent a bipartisan letter to the EPA last year calling on the agency to provide clarity on the regulatory treatment of biogenic carbon emissions produced from feedstocks such as corn and soybeans. This letter echoed earlier calls by five Governors who wrote their own letter to the EPA urging action on this issue as well.