What is the current global environmental crisis? Global warming and climate change What can we do about it? Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) Capitalize on GGE reduction potential in transportation sector ▪ 29% of total U.S. GGE in 2006
Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 Created Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ▪ Mandated volumes maximizing at 7.5 billion gallons in 2012 ▪ Failed to address sustainability issues regarding increased biofuel production Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 Modified RFS program ▪ Increased mandated volumes to 36 billion gallons in 2022 ▪ Addressed sustainability issues ▪ Defined renewable biomass ▪ Defined four biofuel categories depending on lifecycle GGE thresholds
Lifecycle GGE Baseline: 2005 average of gasoline and diesel transportation fuels Biofuel Category Feedstock Definition Lifecycle GGE Reduction Criteria ConventionalCorn-based ethanol New: 20% Preexisting: None Cellulosic Derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin 60% Biomass-based Biodiesel _50% Advanced Anything other than conventional 50%
Developed to assess the environmental impacts of a product or process from “cradle- to-grave” Included phases: Primary or direct Secondary or indirect Source: “Biomass Program,” United States, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 2009, 29 July 2009.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Applied four steps of lifecycle assessment Issued proposed rule in May 2009 Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: United States, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Life Cycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, By Scientific Applications International Corporation, May 2006: 4, 29 July 2009.
General Lifecycle Assessment Standards: International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ▪ ISO 14040:2006 Biofuel Specific Lifecycle Assessment Standards: None; however, ▪ Global Bioenergy Partnership ▪ Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels ▪ ISO committee for sustainable bioenergy
Biofuels Pathway: Mandated inclusion of significant indirect emissions ▪ Indirect land use change Compared future scenarios in 2022 ▪ Reference Scenario: Business-as-Usual ▪ Control Scenario: EISA 2022 mandate volume Analyzed marginal impact of increased biofuel production Petroleum Baseline Pathway: Mandated 2005 average for gasoline and diesel ▪ Direct emissions, but not indirect emissions Did not analyze impact of increased biofuel production on petroleum market
Fuel Equity Inconsistent application of lifecycle assessment methodologies Trade Equity American farmer vs. International farmer Commodity Equity Inconsistent mandates across commodity markets Source: Zia Haq, personal interview, 24 July 2009.
Direct Emissions: Depend on scientific models ▪ Relatively straightforward ▪ Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model Indirect Emissions: Depend on economic, as well as scientific models ▪ Unprecedented need to simulate changes in domestic and international agricultural sector ▪ Utilized a piecemeal approach of preexisting models
Regarding RFS lifecycle GGE criteria: Change petroleum baseline from 2005 average to allow for marginal comparison Streamline other incentive programs to fund second and third generation biofuels Regarding future policy decisions: Utilize lifecycle assessment methodologies to make better rounded policy decisions Request National Academies of Science to conduct report on this utilization
Regarding EISA final rule: Issue a statement addressing equity issue of comparing marginal biofuel impacts to average petroleum impacts Continue to include indirect emissions in biofuel pathways according to scientific reasoning Enhance modeling capability to reduce uncertainty ▪ Use scientific judgment on model assumptions ▪ Guard against preconceived policy initiatives to define certain assumptions
Regarding future application of lifecycle assessment methodologies: Partner with national & international stakeholders Partner with fellow agencies ▪ Department of Energy & U.S. Department of Agriculture Partner with American National Standards Institute to develop international standards
Source: United States, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program May 2009: 405, 28 July 2009.