U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the Adopt Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) Act, legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its greenhouse gas (GHG) modeling for all renewable fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Specifically, the bill would require EPA to apply the Argonne National Lab’s GREET Model to any fuel for which EPA has approved a pathway and deemed qualified for the RFS. EPA would then be required to update its modeling every five years or report to Congress to affirm its modeling is current or otherwise explain why no updates were made.
“It’s past time for the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling for all biofuels, which would more accurately reflect the emissions reductions achieved by ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel,” said Thune. “This would not only underscore how homegrown biofuels can be a cleaner part of our energy security and environmental policy, driving value for South Dakota farmers, but also make biofuel exports more attractive to countries seeking to lower their transportation emissions.”
“It is critical that the EPA’s greenhouse gas modeling for biofuels be updated to fully reflect the newest science and technology,” said Klobuchar. “This legislation will allow us to fully recognize how ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel can contribute to our emissions reduction goals while expanding and promoting the use of clean energy and rural jobs across the country.”
The legislation was cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).
“Biofuels are playing a crucial role in helping our nation meet our energy and climate goals,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “As a country, we can’t afford for renewable, affordable biofuels to be held back by outdated and inaccurate modeling. Years of rigorous, peer-reviewed research have shown that corn ethanol already cuts greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half compared to gasoline. Unfortunately, EPA’s outdated model fails to fully capture the enormous decarbonization potential of ethanol. Growth Energy and its members applaud Senators Thune and Klobuchar for sponsoring this commonsense legislation. It’s past time for the EPA to implement sound science and fully recognize biofuels’ outsized role in creating our clean energy future.”
“This legislation would help ensure that renewable fuel regulations are based on sound science and current data, not speculative theories and obsolete information,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Around the world, the Argonne National Laboratory GREET model is recognized as the gold standard for analyzing the lifecycle greenhouse gases impacts of renewable fuels like ethanol, and the model is regularly updated to reflect efficiency improvements and technological advancements in the fuel production process. We thank Senators Thune and Klobuchar for bringing scientific integrity and accuracy to the federal government’s regulatory actions on renewable fuels.”
“We appreciate this legislation from Senators Thune and Klobuchar, which helps lay the foundation for ethanol to decarbonize the transportation sector by requiring EPA to apply the latest GREET model to more accurately account for corn ethanol’s carbon intensity when establishing regulations, which could impact ethanol use in the future,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol. The legislation is also supported by POET, Gevo, the National Corn Growers Association, and the National Oilseed Processors Association.