Researchers contradict hit piece on ethanol’s environmental impacts

May 1, 2022 |

In Washington, D.C., a new assessment published by experts from the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Purdue University, and the University of Illinois system found major flaws in a recent paper that made unfounded allegations about the greenhouse gas benefits of ethanol compared to gasoline.

Responding to the report Environmental Outcomes of the US Renewable Fuel Standard, which was led by Tyler Lark of the University of Wisconsin, the authors stated, “After a detailed technical review of the modeling practices and data used by Lark et al., we conclude that the results and conclusions provided by the authors are based on several questionable assumptions and a simple modeling approach that has resulted in overestimation of the GHG emissions of corn ethanol.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper responded to the release of the assessment. “It has been well established that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by roughly half compared to gasoline. Unfortunately, a recently published report that attacked ethanol made headlines despite its obvious errors,” said Cooper. “Now that light has been shown on these flaws, we call on the news media to correct the record—particularly those who were so quick to report this now thoroughly debunked attack. Ethanol is a renewable, domestically produced fuel that is lower in cost and lower in carbon than gasoline. Today more than ever, it’s also vital for energy security.”

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Category: Research

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