Bipartisan House Leaders Applauded for Call to Action on Biogenic CO2 Barrier

Oct 27, 2020

House Lawmakers Urge EPA To Take Prompt Action & Address Long Overdue Issue Holding the U.S. Back from Competing on Level Playing Field in Bioeconomy

WASHINGTON, DC – The Biogenic CO2 Coalition, a working group of leading trade associations that support American agriculture, today commended a bipartisan group of 13 U.S. House lawmakers who are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take prompt, science-based action to keep the United States from falling behind its competitors in the international bioeconomy.

In a letter sent last week to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a group of Members of Congress led by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) called on the EPA to promulgate a rulemaking that recognizes the de minimis character of biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural feedstocks used to make food, fuel, beverages, or bioproducts. The Biogenic CO2 Coalition recently filed a petition for rulemaking with the EPA, providing a detailed explanation of the scientific and legal basis for a de minimis standard for biogenic CO2 from agricultural crops. Further, the Coalition recently published an economic impact analysis demonstrating the significant economic benefits of this proposed reform.

Joining Chairman Peterson and Representative Davis in signing on to the letter were: Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), Rep. John Rose (R-TN), and Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH). This call for action is a recognition that this long-overdue regulatory clarity would put the U.S. in line with the same standards applied by every other regulatory authority worldwide in acknowledging that biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural feedstocks are different than carbon from fossil fuels. 

“As support for this critical reform continues to build, it is encouraging to see this display of bipartisan leadership. Removing this regulatory burden based on scientifically-backed evidence opens opportunities for American farmers nationwide to develop more renewable, sustainable products, boosting rural economies, the environment and the broader bioeconomy,” said Thomas Parks, Biogenic CO2 Coalition spokesperson. “A de minimis standard would invigorate the American heartland and bring more economic and industry growth to rural America, creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in wages for American workers in the food and agriculture sectors.”

This is not the first instance of Congressional support for the EPA to implement this rulemaking. Just last week, 14 Senators sent a letter to the EPA requesting swift action to resolve this regulatory glitch. In the past month, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) sent a similar letter, which was followed by letters from six State Departments of Agriculture, including those from Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee.