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EPA: New Biofuel Mandates Will Boost GHG in Short Term

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the nation’s biofuel blending mandates through 2025 will cause a short-term increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

However, agency documents also say the changes will yield long-term reductions. The new proposal will add to greenhouse gas emissions over the next three years by between 81 million and 266 million tons.

A Reuters review of the documents says the rise will come from new tiling for corn, soy, and other plantings that release carbon from the soil. EPA’s GHG calculator says that’s the climate equivalent of driving 17 million and 57 million vehicles for one year. However, EPA also projects those emissions will be more than offset in the long term due to reduced tailpipe emissions and other factors.

Those figures are assuming biofuel volume mandates don’t change after 2025. EPA says the proposal would reduce GHGs by between 128 million and 1.6 billion metric tons.

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