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Biogenic crop rule could offer $240m in economic gains

Report looks at economic impact of EPA rule to reform regulatory treatment of carbon emissions from agricultural crops.

The Biogenic CO2 Coalition, a working group of leading trade associations that support American agriculture, released a new economic impact analysis in support of its petition for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural crops are de minimis and should not be regulated by the same standards as fossil fuels. The report demonstrates the significant economic benefit of that reform.

The report, conducted by the Policy Navigation Group, analyzed six industries across 13 states and revealed that the reform would result in the addition of 2,100 full-time U.S. jobs and $130 million in wages. Additionally, it would drive $27 million in federal tax payments and $17 million in state and local tax payments. The potential economic gains for these industries would reach $240 million in a single year.

“The potential economic impact of EPA rule-making to clarify the regulatory treatment of carbon emissions from agricultural crops cannot be ignored,” Biogenic CO2 Coalition spokesperson Thomas Parks said. “Changing this regulatory burden based on scientifically backed evidence means thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in wages for American workers. It promises to stimulate rural economies and create green jobs, all while encouraging growth in renewable products that are better for our planet.”

If afforded regulatory relief, U.S. agribusinesses would be positioned to make significant investments in facility modernization and improvements to support the development and production of renewable products and materials -- a significant contributor to the U.S. bioeconomy. In just three states – California, Indiana and Ohio -- the total value added from this reform would represent more than $91 million per year.

This study supplements additional efforts by the coalition, which recently filed petition for rule-making with EPA providing a detailed explanation of the scientific and legal basis for the agency to propose a rule to recognize that biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural crops do not contribute to elevated greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Members of Congress also agree that EPA needs to provide regulatory clarity for annual farm crops. Reps. Rodney Davis (R., Ill.), Collin Peterson (D., Minn.), Dave Loebsack (D., Iowa) and Roger Marshall (R., Kan.) recently sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting regulatory clarity for annual farm crops.

Last year, a bipartisan group of 18 senators also pressed EPA for swift action on this issue in a letter. A group of five governors urged the agency to take action on the same issue as well.

TAGS: Policy
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