The EPA just got served.
Objection, Your Honor: Last Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued the EPA, challenging its E15 emergency biofuels blending waiver.
The CBD claims the EPA didn’t “fully assess” the damage the rule would have on endangered species, specifically due to land conversion and increased fertilizer/pesticide use.
Refresher: Hoping to bring down gas prices, the EPA issued the waiver in May—the first time that E15 has ever been allowed for summertime use.
Sustained: The environmental group says higher ethanol blends result in more corn being grown, and therefore, more fertilizer and pesticides running off into streams.
Oh… and there’s also that UN report pointing at agricultural land use change as a primary driver of global biodiversity loss.
Overruled: In its updated 2022 rules, the EPA noted that “increasing the domestic production and use of renewable fuels will… support rural economies, American agriculture… and reduce the impacts of climate change.”
Sidebar soundbites: “The renewable fuel program is a colossal boondoggle that gobbles up millions of acres of land. It’s a false solution to the climate crisis.” —Brett Hartl, CBD
“It is not surprising that an organization with a long history of disdain for beneficial, ag-based biofuels, would base their attack on the RFS citing research that has been substantially discredited…” —Troy Bredenkamp, Renewable Fuel Association
Where this goes: The jury’s still out on this one, but when environmentalism, agriculture, and bureaucracy clash, you can bet it’s gonna get interesting.