Growth Energy Urges Robust RVOs, Shares New Environmental Research with EPA Ahead of Biofuel Decision

Two new reports further illuminate the climate and sustainability benefits of U.S. biofuels.

In formal comments submitted Friday to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Growth Energy urged the agency to finalize robust renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2023-2025. Growth Energy backed its comments with two new studies reaffirming the need for EPA to accurately model bioethanol’s climate benefits and reject unsupported claims that attempt to diminish bioethanol’s significant environmental benefits. 

“A stronger RFS will move America closer to a net-zero future, deliver savings at the pump for working families, strengthen U.S. energy security, and drive investment in rural communities,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We support the agency’s commitment to expanding the role of biofuels, and we urge EPA to leverage this opportunity to update the science that will guide federal climate efforts moving forward. We cannot allow old, inaccurate information to hold back progress or delay important decisions on programs like the RFS.” 

“The path ahead is clear, and EPA must remain firmly on track to meet its June 14 deadline for a final rule,” Skor added, referencing a consent decree agreement between EPA and Growth Energy. 

The research submitted by Growth Energy included a report from Ramboll, building on previous research submitted in 2019 that debunks much of the flawed science concerning biofuels’ effect on land use change and other environmental impacts, including under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The study adds to the wealth of public and private data demonstrating that the RFS remains “unlikely to result in material land conversion” or other impacts requiring further ESA reviews. Growth Energy also submitted a report conducted by Environmental, Health and Engineering, Inc. which further highlights the important additional environmental and public health benefits of higher ethanol blends and adds to the literature knocking down flawed science on land use change. 

In addition to emphasizing the environmental case for biofuels, Growth Energy’s written comments highlighted the economic and energy security benefits of a strong RFS.  

“Growth Energy agrees with EPA that raising RFS standards helps promote U.S. energy security and independence by reducing reliance on imports of petroleum,” they said. “Growth Energy also applauds EPA’s efforts to quantify these [economic] benefits with respect to its proposed 2023-2025 standards—which amount to a combined $653 million.”  Read an executive summary of Growth Energy’s comments here. A full copy of the comments can be found here.  

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