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Ethanol looking better as oil gets dirtier

ethanol_huskyJanuary 18, 2014, Washington - A new study comparing greenhouse gas emission reductions of corn ethanol and those of crude oil production and fracking found that corn ethanol's carbon intensity is declining while the carbon intensity of petroleum is increasing.


January 18, 2014
By Scott Jamieson


Topics

According to a report on KMA, the study was conducted by Life Cycle Associates and found that
the carbon impacts associated with crude oil production continue to
worsen as more marginal sources of fuel are introduced into the fuel
supply. “As the average carbon
intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the carbon intensity of
corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers are motivated by
economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve product yields,” the report notes.

The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 32 per cent compared to average petroleum in 2012.
This estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect land use
change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal petroleum
sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average corn ethanol
reduces GHG emissions by 37-40 per cent.

The full report and summaries can be found on the RFA website.

 

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A comprehensive new study (with appendix)
conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of
corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated
with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources
are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, “As the
average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the
carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers
are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve
product yields.”
– See more at:
www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/new-study-corn-ethanol-reduces-ghg-emissions-by-37-40-compared-to-fracking-/#sthash.j59fIhwq.dpuf

A comprehensive new study (with appendix)
conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of
corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated
with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources
are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, “As the
average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the
carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers
are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve
product yields.”

The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 32% compared to average petroleum in 2012.
Importantly, this estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect
land use change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal
petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average
corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37-40%.

As more
unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn
ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon
impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. By 2022,
average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43-60% compared to
petroleum, the study found.

“The majority of unconventional fuel sources emit significantly more
GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,”
according to the study. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil
slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.” In
the absence of biofuels, “…significant quantities of marginal oil would
be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions
penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable
fuel alternatives.”

The study also reveals several fundamental
flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
regulations. Notably, corn ethanol was already reducing GHG emissions by
21% compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the
EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t
reach 21% until 2022. EPA’s analysis also implicitly assumes the carbon
intensity of crude oil will be the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, a
presumption that has already been disproven by the real-world increase
in the carbon intensity of crude oil. “As unconventional sources of
crude oil have grown in recent years, the carbon intensity of petroleum
fuels has increased above the baseline levels initially identified in
the Renewable Fuel Standard…” according to the authors, who call on
EPA to address several shortcomings with its analysis.

Other key findings and recommendations from the study are highlighted in this three-page summary, along with additional information about Life Cycle Associates.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following comments on the
results of the new study: “When it comes to ethanol’s carbon footprint,
biofuel critics and some regulatory agencies are unfortunately stuck in
the past. We don’t need to wait until 2022 for corn ethanol to deliver
on its promise to reduce GHG emissions. This study uses the latest data
and modeling tools to show that corn ethanol has significantly reduced
GHG emissions from the transportation sector since enactment of the
original RFS in 2005. Further, the report highlights that ethanol’s GHG
performance will continue to improve and diverge with crude oil sources
that will only get dirtier as time goes on. When ethanol is
appropriately compared to the unconventional petroleum sources it is
replacing at the margin, the GHG benefits are even more obvious. We urge
EPA officials to closely examine this new information and make good on
their commitment to ensure the RFS regulations are based on the latest
data and best available science.”

– See more at:
www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/new-study-corn-ethanol-reduces-ghg-emissions-by-37-40-compared-to-fracking-/#sthash.j59fIhwq.dpuf

A comprehensive new study (with appendix)
conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of
corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated
with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources
are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, “As the
average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the
carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers
are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve
product yields.”

The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 32% compared to average petroleum in 2012.
Importantly, this estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect
land use change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal
petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average
corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37-40%.

As more
unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn
ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon
impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. By 2022,
average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43-60% compared to
petroleum, the study found.

“The majority of unconventional fuel sources emit significantly more
GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,”
according to the study. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil
slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.” In
the absence of biofuels, “…significant quantities of marginal oil would
be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions
penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable
fuel alternatives.”

The study also reveals several fundamental
flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
regulations. Notably, corn ethanol was already reducing GHG emissions by
21% compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the
EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t
reach 21% until 2022. EPA’s analysis also implicitly assumes the carbon
intensity of crude oil will be the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, a
presumption that has already been disproven by the real-world increase
in the carbon intensity of crude oil. “As unconventional sources of
crude oil have grown in recent years, the carbon intensity of petroleum
fuels has increased above the baseline levels initially identified in
the Renewable Fuel Standard…” according to the authors, who call on
EPA to address several shortcomings with its analysis.

Other key findings and recommendations from the study are highlighted in this three-page summary, along with additional information about Life Cycle Associates.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following comments on the
results of the new study: “When it comes to ethanol’s carbon footprint,
biofuel critics and some regulatory agencies are unfortunately stuck in
the past. We don’t need to wait until 2022 for corn ethanol to deliver
on its promise to reduce GHG emissions. This study uses the latest data
and modeling tools to show that corn ethanol has significantly reduced
GHG emissions from the transportation sector since enactment of the
original RFS in 2005. Further, the report highlights that ethanol’s GHG
performance will continue to improve and diverge with crude oil sources
that will only get dirtier as time goes on. When ethanol is
appropriately compared to the unconventional petroleum sources it is
replacing at the margin, the GHG benefits are even more obvious. We urge
EPA officials to closely examine this new information and make good on
their commitment to ensure the RFS regulations are based on the latest
data and best available science.”

– See more at:
www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/new-study-corn-ethanol-reduces-ghg-emissions-by-37-40-compared-to-fracking-/#sthash.j59fIhwq.dpuf

A comprehensive new study (with appendix)
conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of
corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated
with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources
are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, “As the
average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the
carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers
are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve
product yields.”

The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 32% compared to average petroleum in 2012.
Importantly, this estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect
land use change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal
petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average
corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37-40%.

As more
unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn
ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon
impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. By 2022,
average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43-60% compared to
petroleum, the study found.

“The majority of unconventional fuel sources emit significantly more
GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,”
according to the study. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil
slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.” In
the absence of biofuels, “…significant quantities of marginal oil would
be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions
penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable
fuel alternatives.”

The study also reveals several fundamental
flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
regulations. Notably, corn ethanol was already reducing GHG emissions by
21% compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the
EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t
reach 21% until 2022. EPA’s analysis also implicitly assumes the carbon
intensity of crude oil will be the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, a
presumption that has already been disproven by the real-world increase
in the carbon intensity of crude oil. “As unconventional sources of
crude oil have grown in recent years, the carbon intensity of petroleum
fuels has increased above the baseline levels initially identified in
the Renewable Fuel Standard…” according to the authors, who call on
EPA to address several shortcomings with its analysis.

Other key findings and recommendations from the study are highlighted in this three-page summary, along with additional information about Life Cycle Associates.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following comments on the
results of the new study: “When it comes to ethanol’s carbon footprint,
biofuel critics and some regulatory agencies are unfortunately stuck in
the past. We don’t need to wait until 2022 for corn ethanol to deliver
on its promise to reduce GHG emissions. This study uses the latest data
and modeling tools to show that corn ethanol has significantly reduced
GHG emissions from the transportation sector since enactment of the
original RFS in 2005. Further, the report highlights that ethanol’s GHG
performance will continue to improve and diverge with crude oil sources
that will only get dirtier as time goes on. When ethanol is
appropriately compared to the unconventional petroleum sources it is
replacing at the margin, the GHG benefits are even more obvious. We urge
EPA officials to closely examine this new information and make good on
their commitment to ensure the RFS regulations are based on the latest
data and best available science.”

– See more at:
www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/new-study-corn-ethanol-reduces-ghg-emissions-by-37-40-compared-to-fracking-/#sthash.j59fIhwq.dpuf

A comprehensive new study (with appendix)
conducted by Life Cycle Associates found that the carbon footprint of
corn ethanol continues to shrink, while the carbon impacts associated
with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources
are introduced to the fuel supply.  According to the report, “As the
average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the
carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers
are motivated by economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve
product yields.”

The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 32% compared to average petroleum in 2012.
Importantly, this estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect
land use change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal
petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average
corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37-40%.

As more
unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn
ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon
impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. By 2022,
average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43-60% compared to
petroleum, the study found.

“The majority of unconventional fuel sources emit significantly more
GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,”
according to the study. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil
slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.” In
the absence of biofuels, “…significant quantities of marginal oil would
be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions
penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable
fuel alternatives.”

The study also reveals several fundamental
flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
regulations. Notably, corn ethanol was already reducing GHG emissions by
21% compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the
EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t
reach 21% until 2022. EPA’s analysis also implicitly assumes the carbon
intensity of crude oil will be the same in 2022 as it was in 2005, a
presumption that has already been disproven by the real-world increase
in the carbon intensity of crude oil. “As unconventional sources of
crude oil have grown in recent years, the carbon intensity of petroleum
fuels has increased above the baseline levels initially identified in
the Renewable Fuel Standard…” according to the authors, who call on
EPA to address several shortcomings with its analysis.

Other key findings and recommendations from the study are highlighted in this three-page summary, along with additional information about Life Cycle Associates.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following comments on the
results of the new study: “When it comes to ethanol’s carbon footprint,
biofuel critics and some regulatory agencies are unfortunately stuck in
the past. We don’t need to wait until 2022 for corn ethanol to deliver
on its promise to reduce GHG emissions. This study uses the latest data
and modeling tools to show that corn ethanol has significantly reduced
GHG emissions from the transportation sector since enactment of the
original RFS in 2005. Further, the report highlights that ethanol’s GHG
performance will continue to improve and diverge with crude oil sources
that will only get dirtier as time goes on. When ethanol is
appropriately compared to the unconventional petroleum sources it is
replacing at the margin, the GHG benefits are even more obvious. We urge
EPA officials to closely examine this new information and make good on
their commitment to ensure the RFS regulations are based on the latest
data and best available science.”

– See more at:
www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/new-study-corn-ethanol-reduces-ghg-emissions-by-37-40-compared-to-fracking-/#sthash.j59fIhwq.dpuf


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