EPA Report: Biofuels Policy Harming Environment

Long-overdue report confirms impacts to wildlife habitat, soil and water quality –lending urgency to efforts to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard

Washington, DC – A major report from the U.S. EPA confirms that the nation’s biofuels mandate has contributed to negative environmental impacts, including loss of wildlife habitat, increased water pollution, decreased soil quality, and stress on scarce water resources. The EPA report—released four years later than required by law—is the most recent warning that the nation’s biofuels policy under the Renewable Fuel Standard needs to be fixed.

David DeGennaro, agriculture policy specialist, National Wildlife Federation, said:

“The EPA’s own report acknowledges the current Renewable Fuel Standard is broken and in need of repair, contrasting years of assertions from industry and the government that everything was going just fine. The report makes it unequivocally clear that solutions to the law’s devastating environmental impacts on our wildlife habitat, drinking water, and climate must be a central part of reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Had the agency abided by law and released these findings four years ago, this information could have helped policymakers at the EPA and lawmakers in the U.S. Congress address these impacts and put the Renewable Fuel Standard on a more sustainable path. Now, it is imperative that federal officials use the EPA report to guide future decisions on how to improve the Renewable Fuel Standard to support cleaner, more sustainable fuels.

“We urge the U.S. EPA and Congress act on the report’s findings and put in place common-sense solutions that work for the environment rather than against it. We ask Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress to support reforms like those in the GREENER Fuels Act.”

The federal program known as the Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that fuel produced from plants and other alternative sources is blended into the nation’s fuels supply. The law requires the EPA to assess and report on the environmental impacts of national biofuels policy every three years. The previous EPA report is from 2011.

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