Recent Press Releases

Sioux Falls, SD —  Senator John Thune was today joined by representatives from the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, the South Dakota Soybean Association, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, POET, and the American Coalition for Ethanol to voice their opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to include carbon outputs resulting from indirect land use in other countries when calculating ethanol's lifecycle carbon emissions.

"Homegrown biofuels are a major component of our nation's strategy for energy independence, but the EPA's decision to measure carbon resulting from foreign indirect land use undercuts this effort," said Thune. "Ethanol is a clean, renewable fuel that creates thousands of jobs in this country, and the federal government should not use unproven models to undermine its success. This new EPA rule is a major blow to the renewable fuels industry."

Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, called the new EPA rule "crazy," while David Fremark, President of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, called the rule "ridiculous." Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, described the new rule as an "unscientific, unfair, and unreasonable scheme," and said all supporters of the biofuels industry should be "extremely concerned."

Brian Jennings, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Ethanol, said the rule was driven by "ideology, not science" and said Senator Thune's new legislation "does exactly what it needs to do," to prevent harm to the biofuels industry.

Last month, Senator Thune introduced a bill (S. 943) that would direct the EPA to focus on the direct lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol relative to regular gasoline. Senator Thune's bill would also require the EPA to publish their model for measuring lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions before taking any regulatory action.

In addition, Senator Thune's bill would allow individual ethanol producers with unique production methods the ability to apply to the EPA for a lower carbon score, which could create incentives for innovative new production methods with lower carbon outputs.

"Biofuels can contribute to a greener energy strategy that reduces our nation's dangerous dependence on imported energy," added Thune. "The advances being made through cellulosic ethanol and other second-generation biofuels can spur innovation throughout the industry, and the EPA should not stand in the way of those efforts."