U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led 17 of her colleagues from agriculture states in signing a bipartisan letter calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to provide clarity on the regulatory treatment of biogenic carbon emissions produced from feedstocks such as corn and soybeans. This clarity will remove an obstacle to investment in rural America.
“Rural communities in our states see the economic and environmental potential that a growing U.S. bioeconomy offers. EPA’s treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural processing facilities, however, is a significant barrier to that growth. We have concerns that regulatory uncertainty is stalling significant potential investment in rural America. That investment would create jobs and draw resources to create new low-carbon products and materials,” the letter reads.
Multiple scientific studies have stated that the carbon dioxide absorbed during growth and photosynthesis by renewable agricultural feedstocks is more or less equal to the carbon dioxide released during the processing, fermentation, or combustion of those same feedstocks within a one-year cycle. In other words, biogenic carbon emissions from such facilities are not contributing to long-term increases in atmospheric greenhouse gasses.
Read the full letter here. Signatories include Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).