Advocacy Groups Call on EPA to Reconsider Renewable Fuel Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 80 environmental, public health and justice groups have submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency, challenging their proposed expansion to its Renewable Fuel Standard program. The expansion allows electric vehicle energy produced from toxic sources, such as landfill gas and factory farms, to receive valuable tax credits.
The proposed RFS rule creates a poorly-structured economic incentive program for EV charging, which will enrich car manufacturers and solidify harmful energy production practices. Previous research has proven the RFS is already a considerable driver in emissions, and expanding the program will only exacerbate the problem. The comments warn that incentivizing energy from high-polluting industries will only worsen pollution hotspots in overburdened communities.
“The EPA is taking us down a path that will lead to electric vehicles charged by burning our forests, expanding factory farms and perpetuating incineration projects,” said Sarah Lutz, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “For the sake of our climate and communities, Biden’s EPA must reverse course on this disastrous plan.”
“The proposal incentivizes climate-damaging methane gas by creating credits for dirty electricity,” said Katherine García, Director of Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “It is a disastrous step in the wrong direction, and the EPA should scrap this proposal. Our transition to a decarbonized transportation system must go hand in hand with expanding clean energy, not extending lifelines to polluting energy.”
The letter comes soon after results from a FOIA request filed by Friends of the Earth revealed that the EPA has engaged in closed-door meetings with incinerator lobbyists, drawing deep concern from environmental activists about future steps for the RFS program. If electricity generated from trash incinerators is incentivized as “renewable energy,” it could prolong the lives of some of the most pollution-ridden facilities in the country.