EPA weighs measuring ethanol pollution

A tank holding ethanol at a fuel tank farm in the Global Petroleum facility in Boston, Mass.

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: Also in Washington today, the EPA weighs in on a vexing question: Renewable fuels are supposed to be eco-friendly, right? But how exactly do we measure that? From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, here's Jennifer Collins.


JENNIFER COLLINS: U.S. ethanol producers want you to hear this:

ETHANOL AD: It's better for your environment because it's a renewable fuel that greatly reduces harmful tailpipe emissions.

NATHANAEL GREENE: The reality is that ethanol can be produced in good ways and it can be produced in bad ways.

Nathanael Greene is with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He says clearing farm land, using fertilizer and refining ethanol creates pollution.

GREENE: And we need a tool to go out and tell which gallons are produced well and which gallons are produced poorly.

Recently, California became the first state to put out its own standards. Bob Dinneen represents major corn ethanol producers. He says the EPA should not mirror California's mandate.

BOB DINNEEN: As currently structured the California low-carbon fuel standard would represent a 'do not enter' sign for Midwest ethanol.

The new EPA standard will determine whether Midwest ethanol grows or withers.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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