EESI Statement: EPA Report on Biofuels’ Environmental Impacts Misses the Forest for the Trees

On June 30, EPA released its second triennial report to Congress, which outlines the state of research of any potential negative environmental impacts of biofuels production, including land use change, air quality, water quality, biodiversity, soil quality and invasive species from producing biofuels for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Despite the careful consideration of these topics within the report, EPA paints an incomplete picture, at best, as they fail to draw any comparisons between biofuels and their main competitor – petroleum.  While considering potential environmental impacts of renewable energies, one must consider the alternative as well.

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Building Better Chemicals – The Bioeconomy’s Role in Creating Novel Biobased Chemicals

There is growing interest in creating novel chemical compounds from biomass that offer superior performance, economics and environmental impacts as compared to petroleum-based chemicals.  For the last decade, the bioeconomy has been focused on creating renewable chemicals that are chemically identical to petroleum products, but are derived from renewable resources.  However, time and experience has shown that it is both expensive and challenging to create replacements for petroleum-based compounds using biomass.  Creating new chemicals with novel attributes could increase the product stream from the biorefinery, as well as provide improved environmental and health impacts.

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Headlines: 

1. New EPA Boss Same as Old Boss: Pruitt Policy to Stay Intact
2. Trump Administration Appoints New Biomass R&D Advisory Board Members
3. Lawmakers Ask EPA to Approve RFS Pathway for Biomass Power
4. Produce Is Less Healthy than It Was 70 Years Ago. These Farmers Are Trying to Change That
5. Oak Ridge Scientists Develop Plant Based Renewable 3D Printing Material With Improved Properties


 

To Contact the Editor: Jessie Stolark at bioenergy@eesi.org

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