Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has released a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency which explains the agency's reasoning behind its decision to include indirect land use change in calculating estimates of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. The estimates are part of the proposed renewable fuel standard. Grassley asked for the explanation in a letter one month earlier.
In the reply, Elizabeth Craig, the Acting Assistant Administrator said, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provides that the aggregate quantity of greenhouse gas emissions includes direct emissions and significant indirect emissions. Craig wrote, the statute specifically includes significant emissions from land use changes within the concept of indirect emissions.
"Excluding indirect land use changes, whether domestic or international from the analysis would depart from both the statutory test and from the scientific thrust of the requirement of lifecycle analysis," said Craig. "Ignoring this directive would not reflect the real world emissions impact of the fuels."