House Ag Chair’s Embarassing Biofuels Hissy Fit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nick Berning, 202-222-0748 Kate McMahon, 202-222-0715
House Agriculture Committee Chair Throws Embarrassing Hissy Fit Over EPA Biofuels Announcement In stunning move, Rep. Collin Peterson attacks EPA for following rules he voted to put in place, then threatens to sabotage any attempt to solve climate crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C.The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee reportedly declared at a hearing today that he will not support any kind of climate change bill because he is upset that proposed EPA biofuels rules require all global warming pollution resulting from biofuels production to be taken into account. In particular, Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) is angry that when calculating the amount of global warming pollution caused by biofuels production, the EPA will take pollution caused by land use changes into account. Demand for land on which to grow crops for biofuels can lead to deforestation and destruction of grasslands and wetlands, resulting in substantial pollution. Because of this, the 2007 energy bill, which Peterson voted for and was enacted into law, requires the EPA to account for all land use impacts of biofuels. Its pretty stunning that less than two years ago, Peterson voted for the law requiring the EPA to account for this pollution, but he apparently now wants the EPA to break the law he voted for, said Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth. The EPA indicated yesterday that it plans to follow that law instead of doing Petersons bidding, so now he throws a temper tantrum. Its embarrassing. But there is also something profoundly serious here, said McMahon. Climate destabilization threatens the livelihoods of the very farmers about whom Peterson purports to be concerned. According to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Carnegie Institution, climate changes are already costing corn producers $1.2 billion per year worldwide, and according to a new Environment America report, the climate crisis is projected to cause $135 million a year in damages to corn production in Petersons home state of Minnesota. Thats just one of the parts of Minnesotas economy that will suffer. Its appalling that Peterson is so cavalier about these impacts that hed threaten to oppose any solution to the climate crisis just because he and some of his corporate agribusiness buddies are angry about biofuels regulations. It shows how out of touch Peterson is with the gravity of the threat climate change poses. Friends of the Earths response to the EPAs release of its proposed rule yesterday can be found here: https://foe.org/epa-confirms-corn-ethanol-worsens-global-warming-pollution NOTE TO REPORTERS: Tomorrow Friends of the Earth will release a report titled A Boon to Bad Biofuels, documenting the massive federal subsidies that the environmentally harmful biofuels industry is set to receive over coming years. To receive an advance copy of this report, please contact Kate McMahon or Nick Berning (contact info above). ### Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the worlds largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.