A YouTube video of EPA official Margo Oge testifying before a House panel in May reveals her providing radically incorrect information about the amount of corn and soybeans it takes to make biofuels.
The blunder occurred when Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) asked Ms. Oge, who is responsible for regulating all emissions within the United States, about the indirect land use issue. “It’s my understanding that the EPA’s Renewable Fuels Standard 2 methodology assumes that for every acre of soybean crop that is used to produce biofuel, an equal acre of ground is used in the Brazilian rainforest to replace that acreage, is that correct?” asked Schock.
“Obviously we know that it takes about 64 acres for a gallon of soy biodiesel,” she begins, and then corrects herself, even more incorrectly. “It’s actually the opposite. It takes 64 acres for corn ethanol and over 400 acres for a gallon of biodiesel.”
Actually, one acre of soybeans makes 64 gallons of biodiesel and one acre of corn makes over 400 gallons of ethanol. This may have been just a simple mistake – or maybe she really doesn’t know – but it is now possible that members of the U.S. House Small Business Committee believe that it takes a huge amount of corn and soybeans to produce biofuels because that is what she told them.
The YouTube video with commentary was posted anonymously by an account called “FreedomIs1st” and no one in the biofuels industry has taken credit for it – but it is very good and should be shared. In fact, it might be good for people in the industry to write to their congressional representatives, especially if they are on the House Small Business committee, to make sure they have the facts.