‘Indirect land use change’ debate continues

The debate continues over so-called “indirect land use change” that may result from biofuels production.

The EPA is holding a two-day workshop on the matter in Washington, D.C., a day after the agency’s official hearing on its proposed RFS2 rule. Dr. Mark Stowers, the vice president of science and technology for POET ethanol, testified at the hearing and is attending the workshop. He says one problem with the model used by EPA is that it fails to hold gasoline to the same standards as biofuels-by not including indirect emission effects for that fuel.

AUDIO: Mark Stowers interview (8 min)

“If we’re going to look at these for obtuse indirect effects,” Stowers says, “we can look at the amount of carbon that’s actually expended-the CO2 emissions that our military actually has to expend-to protect and insure a supply of foreign oil.”

Stowers, who is also representing the Growth Energy group at the EPA meetings, is asking the agency for a 120-day extension of the comment period on the RFS2 rule. He says more time is needed to review the more than 800 documents related to the issue.

“We would just suggest that they get this right and if it means a phased implementation of the RFS2 rule, that might be a solution that allows proper and good science to be applied,” he says.

But Stowers still contends the inclusion of indirect land use change in the RFS rule has on basis in law or science.

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