Putting 16 Million Acres into Perspective

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July 22, 2016

Over the past month, we’ve highlighted the Renewable Fuel Standard’s role in the radical transformation of the U.S. agricultural landscape. Since the introduction of the RFS in 2005, U.S. corn and soybean planting has increased by more than 16,838,000 acres, raising with it concerns about the impact of this change on ecosystems, biodiversity and the environment.

But that number — over 16 million more acres — is so large, it is almost unfathomable. But don’t worry – we’re here to put it into perspective for you.

An area of land 387 times bigger than Washington, D.C., has been added to existing corn and soybean acreage since the RFS was established in 2005. (That’s 386 387 more Washingtons than we need.)

Have you ever imagined how many areas the size of Maryland or Rhode Island or Hawaii or New Jersey have been dramatically changed since 2005? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Check out our graphic below for the stunning comparison.

Without action from Congress, we fear that 16 million acres will just mark the beginning of how the RFS transforms America’s landscape in troubling ways. Click here to take action and let your legislators know you won't let this broken policy threaten our environment.

Tags environmental protection agency epa greenhouse gas emissions animal feed department of agriculture usda conservation land subsidies