Government & Politics

H.R.2409 - Draft Bill by Rep Peterson on Indirect Land Use Changes

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House Ag leaders offer plan to alter mandates' biomass, emissions language (05/15/2009) As if there was any doubt after last week's barrage of criticism from members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calculating indirect effects of expanding biofuels production, a group of nearly 50 congressmen, including House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), introduced a bill (H.R.. 2409) to correct flawed provisions in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that are limiting the potential for clean, homegrown renewable biofuels to meet our nation's energy needs. (A draft version of the text of the bill can be found here.) According to Committee's press release, the bill eliminates the requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency consider indirect land use when calculating the greenhouse gas emissions associated with advanced biofuels. Currently, there is no reliable method to predict accurately how biofuel production will affect land use in the United States or internationally. The bill also puts the Energy and Agriculture departments, rather than EPA, in charge of assessing lifecycle emissions. Peterson and other critics of assessing indirect land-use changes say the science is too crude to measure how, for instance, using more U.S. crops for fuel can lead to forest clearing in other countries to create new farmland. But environmentalists contend that ripple effects from biofuels production that can lead to release of stored carbon when new land is cleared elsewhere must be considered. As this blog has noted, Republican Senators Thune and Grassley have introduced a similar measure in the Senate. Given that the inclusion of indirect effects from growing biofuels comes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the fate of these bills appear dim. Of note, environmentalist are clamoring that the proposed rule is too weak, presumably because they don't want Speaker Pelosi to get any ideas. Peterson last week said he would not vote for the climate bill that Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is trying to move through that panel, claiming he did not trust EPA enough to carry the measure out. Peterson told news outlets on Wednesday he has been unsuccessful in addressing his concerns about biofuels issues with Waxman and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Waxman's collaborator on the climate bill. Asked if more discussions are planned, Peterson cited the bill he was drafting that was unveiled yesterday. “My position is unless that bill passes, and is signed by the president, we are not going to talk to anybody,” he said.
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  .....................................................................(Original Signature of Member) 111 TH CONGRESS1 ST S ESSION   H. R.  ll    To amend section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Mr. P ETERSON introduced the following bill; which was referred to theCommittee on  llllllllllllll    A BILL   To amend section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act, and forother purposes.  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 1 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Renewable Fuel Stand- 4 ard Improvement Act’’. 5 SEC. 2. AMENDMENT. 6 Section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act is amended as 7 follows: 8 VerDate 0ct 09 2002 16:58 May 14, 2009Jkt 000000PO 00000Frm 00001Fmt 6652Sfmt 6201C:\TEMP\PETEMN~2.XMLHOLCPC May 14, 2009 (4:58 p.m.) F:\M11\PETEMN\PETEMN_008.XML f:\VHLC\051409\051409.298.xml (433740|8)  2(1) In paragraphs (1)(B)(i), (2)(A)(i), and 1 (2)(A)(ii), the matter following paragraph 2 (2)(B)(ii)(VI), paragraphs (2)(B)(iv), (3), (4), (5), 3 (6)(B), (7)(A)(i), (7)(A)(ii), (7)(B), (7)(D), (7)(E), 4 (7)(F), (8)(D), (9)(A)(ii)(II), (9)(B)(i), (9)(B)(iii), 5 (9)(C), (9)(D), and (11), by striking ‘‘Adminis- 6 trator’’ and inserting ‘‘Secretary of Agriculture, the 7 Secretary of Energy, and the Administrator’’. 8 (2) In paragraph (1)(C)— 9 (A) by striking ‘‘Administrator’’ and in- 10 serting ‘‘Secretary of Energy’’; and 11 (B) by striking ‘‘in 2005.’’ and inserting 12 ‘‘2008. At 3 year intervals after 2008, the base- 13 line shall be updated by using a date 3 years 14 after the prior baseline date.’’. 15 (3) In paragraph (1) by amending subpara- 16 graph (D) as follows: 17 (A) By striking ‘‘and that has’’ and insert- 18 ing a period and the following: ‘‘In the case of  19 renewable fuel produced from facilities that 20 commenced construction after December 19, 21 2007, such term only includes such biodiesel if  22 it has’’. 23 VerDate 0ct 09 2002 16:58 May 14, 2009Jkt 000000PO 00000Frm 00002Fmt 6652Sfmt 6201C:\TEMP\PETEMN~2.XMLHOLCPC May 14, 2009 (4:58 p.m.) F:\M11\PETEMN\PETEMN_008.XML f:\VHLC\051409\051409.298.xml (433740|8)  3(B) By striking out ‘‘the preceding sen- 1 tence’’ and insert ‘‘the preceding provisions of  2 this subparagraph’’. 3 (4) In subparagraph (D) and (E) of paragraph 4 (1), by striking ‘‘Administrator’’ and inserting ‘‘Sec- 5 retary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy’’. 6 (5) In paragraph (1)(G), by striking the last 7 sentence. 8 (6) By amending paragraph (1)(H) to read as 9 follows: 10 ‘‘(H) L IFECYCLE GREENHOUSE GAS EMIS - 11 SIONS .— 12 ‘‘(i) I N GENERAL .—The term ‘lifecycle 13 greenhouse gas emissions’ means the ag- 14 gregate quantity of direct greenhouse gas 15 emissions relating to the full fuel lifecycle, 16 as determined by the Secretary of Agri- 17 culture and the Secretary of Energy based 18 on— 19 ‘‘(I) measurements taken using 20 the most recent observable data; and 21 ‘‘(II) consideration of regional 22 differences of renewable fuel produc- 23 tion. 24 VerDate 0ct 09 2002 16:58 May 14, 2009Jkt 000000PO 00000Frm 00003Fmt 6652Sfmt 6201C:\TEMP\PETEMN~2.XMLHOLCPC May 14, 2009 (4:58 p.m.) F:\M11\PETEMN\PETEMN_008.XML f:\VHLC\051409\051409.298.xml (433740|8)  4‘‘(ii) I NCLUSIONS .—The term 1 ‘lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions’ in- 2 cludes greenhouse gas emissions from all 3 stages of fuel and feedstock production and 4 distribution, from feedstock generation or 5 extraction through the distribution and de- 6 livery and use of the finished fuel to the 7  ultimate consumer, where the mass values 8 for all greenhouse gases are adjusted to ac- 9 count for the relative global warming po- 10 tential of the greenhouse gases. 11 ‘‘(iii) P EER REVIEW AND MODEL .— 12 The Secretary of Agriculture and the Sec- 13 retary of Energy shall carry out a peer re- 14  view of any model used in measuring 15 lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and 16 make the results of the peer review and 17 model publicly available before any public 18 comment period provided in connection 19  with the determination made under this 20 subparagraph.’’. 21 (7) Amend paragraph (1)(I) to read as follows: 22 ‘‘(I) R ENEWABLE BIOMASS .—.—The term 23 ‘renewable biomass’ means— 24 VerDate 0ct 09 2002 16:58 May 14, 2009Jkt 000000PO 00000Frm 00004Fmt 6652Sfmt 6201C:\TEMP\PETEMN~2.XMLHOLCPC May 14, 2009 (4:58 p.m.) F:\M11\PETEMN\PETEMN_008.XML f:\VHLC\051409\051409.298.xml (433740|8)
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