Washington, D.C. – The biofuels industry is asking the U.S. Congress not to include biofuels in greenhouse gas emissions regulations, arguing that the fuel  is already regulated under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), an advocacy organization for the industry, said that climate change regulation “should not subject biofuels to double jeopardy,” and asked that recently-drafted cap-and-trade legislation be amended to clearly state that biofuels, including the biofuel component of fuel blends, are not obligated under the emissions cap.

“When it comes to climate change legislation, Congress has focused a great deal of attention on stationary emission sources, such as coal-fired power plants,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice-president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “We cannot, however, achieve a low-carbon future without biofuels, because biofuels can play a key role in reducing direct CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. While fossil fuels release carbon that has been stored deep underground for millions of years into the atmosphere, biofuels recycle atmospheric carbon. In some cases, biomass production can sequester more carbon in the soil than is released into the atmosphere through biofuel combustion.”

Ericksons said that biofuels are mandated by the federal Renewable Fuel Standards to achieve substantial lifecycle greenhouse gas improvements compared to petroleum-based fuels, and that any effort to replace tailpipe emissions of biofuels under the CO2 cap would impose a double greenhouse gas emissions compliance obligation on biofuels.

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