Opposing Factory Farms at EPA Hearing

Environmental Justice Advocates Oppose Factory Farm Energy Expansion at EPA Hearing

WASHINGTON – This week environmental justice advocates across the U.S. testified against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard  during virtual hearings hosted by EPA. Speakers from communities impacted by factory farm pollution spoke against proposed changes that they assert would award electric vehicle manufacturers valuable credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and drive demand for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to expand and further concentrate pollution in communities. Under the new RFS proposal, the electrified transportation transition would be tied to new support for expanding methane biogas production in factory farms and landfills.
Factory farmed biogas is an energy source with harmful impacts to air and water quality in frontline communities. President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan have asserted that environmental justice is a top priority, yet the administration has taken no steps to rein in the harms of industrial animal agriculture to these communities. Incentivizing the use of factory farm biogas would exacerbate the destructive impacts that rural communities have faced for decades.
Adriane Busby, Senior Food and Climate Policy Analyst for Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:
“Using so-called ‘biogas’ from factory farms to power electric vehicles is an absurd proposal from EPA that ignores the destructive health, quality of life and climate impacts of factory farms. For decades, EPA has ignored the detrimental impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations on fenceline communities. Now the agency is proposing to make things worse by seeking to expand factory farming under the guise of cleaner transportation.
“Administrator Regan is directly undermining his stated commitment to environmental justice by creating a market for CAFO waste. If EPA truly wants to fight climate change and reduce pollution in communities, it must crack down on factory farms and the burning of biofuels.”
Those who testified to concerns about this proposal exacerbating the harms of factory farming included:
Danielle Koonce, Environmental Justice Community Action Network
Brenda Brink, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
David Rodriguez, Leadership Counsel for Accountability and Justice
Madeline Harris, Leadership Counsel for Accountability and Justice
Lenard Moreno, Leadership Counsel for Accountability and Justice
Jamie Katz, Leadership Counsel for Accountability and Justice
Adriane Busby, Friends of the Earth
Sarah Lutz, Friends of the Earth
Rania Masri, PhD, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network
Michael Payan, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
Maria Payan, Sussex Health & Environmental Network
Larry Baldwin, Waterkeeper Alliance
Tyler Lobdell, Food and Water Watch
Todd Larson, Green America
Dave Arndt, Concerned Citizen
Allison Molinaro, Compassion in World Farming
Gabrielle Ross, Assateague Costal Trust
Carter Dillard, Fair Start Movement
Betsy Nicholas, Potomac Riverkeeper Network
Larry Baldwin, Waterkeeper Alliance
Daniel Estrin, Waterkeeper Alliance
Communications contact: Shaye Skiff, [email protected], 202-222-0723
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