EPA releases peer review of RFS2 modeling

By Susanne Retka Schill | July 15, 2009
Posted August 11, 2009

The U.S. EPA released the peer review findings Friday, Aug. 7, on the lifecycle analysis for the proposed rule to implement the expanded renewable fuels standard. The EPA announced the lifecycle analysis, which includes controversial international indirect land effects, would be peer reviewed when the proposed standards were released in May.

Four panels were assembled to review the EPA's methodology regarding satellite imagery and emissions factors, its approach to accounting for lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels over time, international agricultural GHG emissions and GHG emission modeling for increased biofuel production.

"We are still in the midst of analyzing the peer review documents," said Manning Feraci, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. "That said, at first glance, it is noteworthy that the peer review does not negate the significant shortcomings we have highlighted with the EPA's greehnouse gas emission assumptions - such as nitrogen fixing and co-products that artificially underestimate the emission reduction benefits of biodiesel made from vegetable oils. It is also noteworthy that reviewers echoed our view that the science and methodology associated with international land use change is inexact, unreliable, and cannot be credibly used for purposes of crafting federal regulations."

The Renewable Fuels Association charged with stacking the deck. "EPA has asked the foxes to guard the hen house on this issue," said RFA President Bob Dinneen. "By adding lawyers and advocates to a scientific review panel, EPA bureaucrats have made a mockery of the Administration's commitment to sound science. These reviews absolutely cannot be viewed as objective or unbiased. Many of these reviewers have repeatedly and openly demonstrated unabashed and politically-motivated biases against biofuels in the past, which immediately casts a long shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of EPA's peer review process."

The comments of the review panels are available online at the EPA's renewable fuels standard program page.
 
 
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