Friends of the Earth Celebrates EPA’s Decision to Pull Dangerous EV Proposal
WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its final rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard, which includes the removal of a proposal to expand the program by allowing electrification compliance credits (e-RINs) for charging electric vehicles via biomass energy. The RFS is a federal program originally intended to reduce emissions through mandating the incorporation of biofuels into U.S. transportation fuel. However, the program has been proven to subsidize dirty energy production masking as renewable energy, and to increase rather than decrease transportation sector emissions. Removing the proposed expansion into EV charging avoids the creation of a perverse incentive for electricity produced from dirty biomass with significant environmental justice issues, like factory farm or landfill methane biogas.
The potential RFS expansion into EV changing has been aggressively lobbied for by dirty energy industries looking for new subsidies. Freedom of Information Act requests unearthed by Friends of the Earth reveal a coordinated campaign between incinerator giant Covanta and pro-wood burning trade group, Biomass Power Association, to gain access to the program. Burning wood or trash are some of the dirtiest ways to produce energy and emits a number of toxic pollutants that disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.
“The decision to drop this proposed rule is a huge win for the climate and for communities already overburdened with pollution,” said Sarah Lutz, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “The EPA was on the verge of making a bad program even worse by tying the growth of EVs to massively harmful energy production. It’s wholly incompatible with President Biden’s commitment to reducing emissions and prioritizing environmental justice, and we’re committed to ensuring this proposal doesn’t rear its ugly head again.”
Friends of the Earth has led the opposition on e-RINS for electric vehicle-charging since FOIAs revealed that the Biden administration and Tesla were having closed-door discussions on the RFS as soon as the former’s term began. FoE is the lead author on three opposition letters to the EPA (2021, 2022, 2023) and collaborated with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to develop a Congressional response in 2022.
Communications Contact: Erika Seiber, [email protected]