EcoWatch: Corn Ethanol Harms Consumers, Climate and Renewable Energy Development

July 25, 2013

July 24 – The federal requirement to blend corn ethanol into gasoline is polluting America’s air and water, contributing to climate change, hurting consumers and hindering the development of cleaner biofuels, Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs, told a Congressional panel today.

Faber’s remarks came during testimony before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The two-day hearing focused on the Renewable Fuel Standard, also known as RFS.

“It’s time to face the facts: the RFS is producing too many ‘bad biofuels’ that increase greenhouse gas emissions, increase food and gasoline prices and pollute our air and water—and not enough ‘good biofuels,’” Faber said.

“Once heralded as a way to combat climate change, the RFS has actually increased greenhouse emissions by encouraging farmers to plow up more than 23 million acres of land—an area the size of Indiana—releasing more carbon and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.”

Faber highlighted a lifecycle analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that found that the rapid expansion of corn ethanol production raised carbon emissions in 2012 and will continue to do so for years to come.

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