Biofuel and Invasion
Bioenergy development has the potential to reduce the use of fossil energy sources, but many of the characteristics of desirable bioenergy feedstocks also are associated with invasive species. By selecting native or non-invasive feedstocks and by adopting cultivation practices that minimize the risk of escape into the environment, we can ensure that renewable fuel development will not contribute to the introduction or spread of invasive species. ELI works to achieve this goal by connecting the emerging risk assessment methods with legal analysis. Our work provides the foundation for a nuanced discussion of how regulatory and incentive programs can most effectively achieve this goal.
- Connecting weed risk assessment and biofuel law and policy: Working with the Department of Transportation, ELI is studying how the emerging science of weed risk assessment is used in laws and policies that limit the cultivation of potentially harmful species and how incentives for bioenergy development can more effectively consider and incorporate these insights.
- Renewable Fuel Standard and invasion: EPA has proposed to approve renewable fuel pathways based on potentially invasive species under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. In comment letters to EPA and OMB, ELI has argued that EPA can and should consider invasion instead of relying on other agencies or programs to avoid providing incentives for cultivation of invasive species.
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