Lugar Slams EPA Ruling

May 7, 2009 07:00 PM

 Pro Farmer Editors


 U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN.) says the proposed EPA rule that would require "peer-reviews" on the lifecycle analysis of the four renewable fuel categories is "highly speculative and imperfect.

Link to EPA announcement.

“At this time when we all seek to work with the President to improve the economy through new energy investment, it is unfathomable that the EPA would act to curtail a great boon to rural development,” U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar wrote today in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Lugar said that the proposed EPA rule uniquely applying a life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions standard to ethanol was “highly speculative and imperfect” and “economic models simply do not accurately capture indirect emissions with an acceptable degree of certainty. . . I urge you to halt consideration of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions due to lack of sufficient information, and work with Congress to find a workable solution.”

Lugar said such a ruling “will further entrench U.S. dependency on foreign oil and stunt rural economic development.” He noted that he, then Sen. Obama and Sen. Tom Harkin proposed expanding the renewable fuels mandate in 2006 because “foreign oil dependency is a security threat to our nation…The production of 9.2 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008 erased the need for 325 million barrels of crude oil. In other words, ethanol production was equivalent to the amount of crude oil the U.S. imports in one month’s time. So, in theory, domestic ethanol production allowed the U.S. to be “oil import-free” for an entire month last year. While the U.S. paid $453 billion for oil imports in 2008, that same year ethanol production prevented the outflow of $32 billion.”

“I appreciate and support efforts to make prudent safeguards against negative impacts of energy production, whether it is oil drilling, ethanol or wind power. Yet, we must exercise well-informed judgment that balances several national interests. The same ill-conceived and poorly supported arguments that blame ethanol for shifting land use around the world can also be applied to new public transport on rail, wind, solar, and the new factories that will produce electric vehicles and their component parts. Meanwhile, we do not make the price of oil reflect its true cost to Americans in monetary terms or in the lives lost of our soldiers sent to protect supplies,” Lugar wrote to Jackson.

Lugar expressed his disappointment with the EPA decision at a Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on Thursday: Watch the video at this link.


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