The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) welcomes the release of the White House National Climate Assessment, because the tools of biotechnology are necessary to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on human health, energy, and agricultural production.
BIO notes, however, that decreasing use of biofuels will automatically increase use of more carbon intensive petroleum sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November 2013 issued a proposed rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard that will for the first time decrease use of biofuels in the United States. A recent study from BIO demonstrates that this proposal would increase carbon emissions for 2014 and significantly reverse the progress the United States has made in reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector that is noted in the National Climate Assessment.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, noted, “The White House National Climate Assessment says plainly that the transportation sector accounts for more than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and hails the fact that between 2008 and 2012 those emissions were reduced. Yet, the White House recently proposed to reverse course on the only greenhouse gas reduction policy on the books today for transportation.
“The recent proposed rule for the 2014 RFS would increase emissions from the transportation sector and come very close to wiping out the reductions of the past four years. The emissions increase would be equivalent to putting 5.9 million more cars on the road. The White House still has a chance to change this negative outcome and to make a course correction before issuing a final rule for the 2014 RFS.”