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American Agriculture Leaders Commend Governors for Support on Addressing Biogenic CO2 Barrier

Nov 19, 2020

Reynolds and Ricketts Among State Governors Urging EPA To Take Prompt Action

WASHINGTON, DC – The Biogenic CO2 Coalition, a working group of leading trade associations that support American agriculture, today commended a bipartisan group of six U.S. governors 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 this week to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a group of state governors led by Govs. Kim Reynolds (IA) and Pete Ricketts (NE) 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 Environmental Protection Agency (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 Governors Reynolds and Ricketts in signing on to the letter were: Govs. Asa Hutchinson (AR), Laura Kelly (KS), Michael Parson (MO), and Kristi Noem (SD). 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. 

“Support for critical reform of this regulatory burden continues to build. We must follow the scientifically backed evidence to open opportunities for American farmers nationwide and develop the broader bioeconomy,” said Thomas Parks, Biogenic CO2 Coalition spokesperson. “A de minimis standard would invigorate the American heartland and bring economic growth to rural America, creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in wages for American workers in the food and agriculture sectors.”

EPA remains the only regulatory authority in the world that fails to distinguish between biogenic CO2 emissions and those from the use of fossil fuels. Included in the Coalition’s petition for rulemaking is a survey of 108 peer-reviewed journal articles concerning biogenic CO2 emissions from annual agriculture crops. One hundred four of the articles found show biogenic CO2 emissions from agriculture crops “are completely balanced by biomass regrowth over a short period of time.”

This is not the first instance of Gubernatorial support for the EPA to implement this rulemaking. Govs Kim Reynolds (IA), Pete Ricketts (NE), Eric Holcomb (IN), Matt Bevin (KY) recently sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting regulatory clarity for annual farm crops. Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of 13 U.S. House lawmakers have also urged the agency for action on the same issue.

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