Sunday, August 14, 2022

Play

President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.

Play

Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

EPA Report Finds Ethanol Causing Environmental Damage

Play

Thursday, August 2, 2018   

NEW YORK — A long-delayed report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that requiring ethanol made from corn and soybeans to be part of the nation's gas supply is causing serious environmental harm.

Federal law requires the EPA to assess the environmental impact of the fuel standard every three years, but the new report, issued in July, was four years overdue. According to David DeGennaro with the National Wildlife Federation, the report documents millions of acres of wildlife habitat lost to ethanol crop production, increased nutrient pollution in waterways and air emissions and side effects worse than the gasoline the ethanol is replacing.

"In finding that the Renewable Fuel Standard is having negative consequences to a whole suite of environmental indicators,” DeGennaro said, “the report is a red flag warning us that we need to reconsider the mandate's scope and its focus on first-generation fuels made from food crops.”

President Donald Trump and senators from agricultural states are urging the EPA to allow an increase in the mandated ethanol content of gasoline.

The EPA report indicates that biofuels have a negative impact on air quality. Johnathan Lewis, senior counsel for climate policy with the Clean Air Task Force, said ethanol from corn in particular is linked to increased emissions of nitrogen oxides, or nox.

"Nox contributes to ozone formation when it mixes with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight,” Lewis said. “So in most areas of the country, an increase in nox emissions can result in increased ozone formation."

Ground-level ozone, the main ingredient of smog, is a major cause of asthma and other respiratory illness.

Right now, most gas is E-10, containing 10 percent ethanol. But despite the EPA report's findings, DeGenarro pointed out there is political pressure to raise the biofuels mandate of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

"Just last week, President Trump told an audience in Iowa that he was "very close" to having EPA issue a waiver to the Clean Air Act to allow year-round sale of E-15,” DeGenarro said.

In March, a bill called the GREENER Fuels Act was introduced in Congress to reduce the use of corn ethanol and cap the content in gasoline at less than 10 percent.



get more stories like this via email

Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…


Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…


While there are continued disparities, an annual report says Minnesota has seen progress in elevating kids out of poverty, with 12% of children falling into that category. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021