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EPA Releases Peer Review of Indirect Land Use Analysis

August 14, 2009

The EPA has released the long-awaited per-reviews of the various analyses of the greenhouse gas emissions impacts associated with increased renewable fuels production and consumption that will result from implementation of the National Renewable Fuels Standard program that calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.  The peer review sought to obtain expert opinion and feedback on a number of issues surrounding the EPA’s initial analysis of greenhouse gas impact of increased biofuel production and use.  Key issues the reviewers addressed include: EPA’s approach to the greenhouse gas lifecycle analysis, the EPA’s decision to analyze greenhouse gas emissions based on particular timeframes and discount rates, and the EPA’s preference to use a quick “snapshot” analysis rather than a year-by-year approach.

The peer review focused on EPA’s analysis adhering to the requirements charged to the agency to examine the environmental impact of proposed or enacted legislation.  So the peer review did not address larger real world implications for analyzing the comparative advantage of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels against the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of petroleum. This issue and that of evaluating all fuels on the same standard remain in the area of legislation and policy. 

To see the full peer review go to: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/rfs2-peer-review-emissions.pdf

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