This weekend only, get a Marketplace zip–up hoodie when you donate $8/month. Don’t wait — this offer ends at midnight Sunday!
Scott Jagow: Until the economy crashed, climate change was the topic du jour. And ethanol was the lightning rod. The EPA was supposed to have rules by today on how much biofuel the US should produce. But there isn’t even a draft proposal. Sarah Gardener at our Sustainability Desk explains what happened.
Sarah Gardner: Corn ethanol’s already taken heat for higher food prices. Now scientists are questioning whether it actually produces more greenhouse gas emissions than regular gasoline. That’s if you take into account indirect impacts, like rainforests being converted to cropland. Jonathan Lewis at the Clean Air Task Force says that’s because cutting down rainforests releases carbon dioxide.
Jonathan Lewis: That initial upfront release of soil and plant carbon swamps whatever benefits we get over the long term from using biofuels.
The EPA’s initial calculations of biofuel’s climate impacts alarmed industry. Biofuel producers have lobbied the administration hard to omit those calculations, calling the science “immature.” The new rules are currently stuck in the White House Office of Management and Budget, and will likely end up yet another headache for the Obama administration.
I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.