EPA Proposes New Credits Under Renewable Fuel Standard, Bolstering False Climate Solutions
WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency is launching a long-awaited comment period for electronic Renewable Identification Numbers—or e-RINs—under the Renewable Fuel Standard. If finalized, the proposal carves a path to allow electricity from biomass and biogas to generate compliance credits for charging electric vehicles.
“This is a toxic plan directly at odds with the Biden Administration’s commitment to Environmental Justice,” said Sarah Lutz, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth “Charging electric vehicles with forests and factory farms should be a non-starter.”
National and grassroots environmental organizations have weighed in repeatedly against developing an e-RINs framework, citing the climate impact and harm to frontline communities of factory farm and landfill biogas, as well as the potential inclusion of woody biomass. Senator Booker recently led a letter to EPA Administrator Regan highlighting the danger of e-RINs becoming yet another subsidy for factory farming.
A Freedom of Information Act request, filed by Friends of the Earth, revealed that the EPA sought input from Tesla on designing the program during President Biden’s first day in office. Later in the year, the EPA met jointly with representatives from the biomass, biogas, and incinerator industries. Afterwards, the trade associations pledged to take “an immediate and significant role” in the development of the program.
Similarly, lawmakers sympathetic to these industries, like Senators Susan Collins and Jeanne Shaheen, have demanded the inclusion of electricity from woody biomass to generate credits—even though burning wood for electricity has proven to be worse for the climate than coal. Additionally, Representative John Garamendi sponsored legislation that would effectively force the EPA to allow e-RINs for both biogas and woody biomass.
“The EPA is about to make a bad program even worse for people and the planet,” added Lutz. “We urge the Biden Administration to reconsider this dangerous proposal.”
COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT: Erika Seiber, [email protected]
EXPERT CONTACT: Sarah Lutz, [email protected]