Administration Moves Ahead with First-Ever Global Warming Standards for Biofuels

Clears Path for Biofuels To Be "Done Right"

WASHINGTON  (May 5, 2009) – Secretaries from three federal agencies requested public comments today on a proposed new rule for a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which will establish the first-ever greenhouse gas performance standards for biofuels. Industry and environmental groups have anticipated this announcement, which came from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

A statement follows from Nathanael Greene, Director of Renewable Energy Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“EPA has taken an important step towards getting biofuels right. Our economy and our planet can’t afford to burn fuels that will only create more pollution, but through innovation we can develop renewable fuels that are better than oil and will never run out. 

“We must develop biofuels the smart way, and we are encouraged that EPA Administrator Jackson has offered a science-based proposal to get this done. If we get the rules of the road right through policies such as this one, we can harness the ingenuity of America’s farmers, foresters, and entrepreneurs to create a new generation of biofuels that will help create jobs and reduce our dependence on oil.

“The opportunity to review EPA’s proposal will help ensure that developing biofuels won't mean using our most fragile forests for fuel and that biofuels provide real benefits. We plan to submit comments on what EPA has gotten right and what must be improved to make sure the outcome serves our environmental and energy needs.”

NRDC sent a letter recently to EPA with other environmental groups calling on the Administration to follow a transparent, science-based process in determining the rules for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), including the key issue of greenhouse gas emissions.