EPA Report Clouds Lifecycle Analysis Issues

Several groups and individuals express doubts about rulemaking.

Published on: Aug 10, 2009

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report on a peer review of the lifecycle analysis issues included in the RFS2 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that many found troubling. The Renewable Fuels Association asserted that the EPA stacked the deck against biofuels in its process to peer review the agency's indirect land use change analysis.

 

"EPA has asked the foxes to guard the hen house on this issue," said RFA President Bob Dinneen. "By adding lawyers and advocates to a scientific review panel, EPA bureaucrats have made a mockery of the Administration's commitment to sound science. These reviews absolutely cannot be viewed as objective or unbiased."

 

Dinneen says many of the reviewers have repeatedly and openly demonstrated unabashed and politically-motivated biases against biofuels in the past, which immediately casts a long shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of EPA’s peer review process.

 

"The EPA peer review panel reaffirmed many of the concerns I have about the EPA's proposed rule and rulemaking process for the Renewable Fuel Standard," said House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn. "The panel expressed concern about using these incomplete and unreliable models to measure indirect land use changes and indicated that they didn't have enough time to review this convoluted and complicated proposal."

 

Peterson also said that he found it concerning that no one from USDA or any other agency with expertise in these issues were included in the peer review, stating that this was why the House voted to limit EPA's ability to implement international indirect land use.

 

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said the study underscores Growth Energy's position that there is no universally-accepted scientific model for measuring indirect land use changes. He called on Congress to fix the flawed provision in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Buis says EPA's peer review proves that too much uncertainty about the economic modeling, data and science exists to allow this to ever become regulation.

 

The president of the National Corn Growers Association, Bob Dickey, says NCGA is disappointed that there is no objectivity and a complete lack of unbiased opinions in the process. Dickey called upon the EPA to modify its approach to reflect the commitment of President Obama to adhere to policies based on sound science and a transparent process.