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Biofuels Battle: House, Senate Bills Push Back Against New Ethanol Rules

Source:  Copyright 2009, Wall Street Journal
Date:  May 15, 2009
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Biofuel defenders are howling about the Obama administration’s new environmental standards, announced earlier this month and which are meant to take into account the “indirect” environmental effects of growing more crops for fuel.

This week, as Tom Philpott at Grist notes, legislation was introduced in the House to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s new remit to hold ethanol (and all biofuels) responsible for all their greenhouse-gas emissions.

The thing is, biofuel proponents didn’t even wait. South Dakota Sen. John Thune pre-emptively struck out at the EPA’s new rules last month, introducing legislation that would offer the U.S. biofuel industry all sorts of escape hatches from complying with new environmental rules.

The Thune law would let any renewable-fuels producer ask the EPA to waive environmental rules for biofuel if those onerous new standards threatened to limit biofuel production. Or if the environmental rules “cause ...

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