Activists Tell Congress: Stop Supporting Dirty Biofuels

Last week, more than 80 concerned citizens gathered in Atlanta to join Mighty Earth, Dogwood Alliance, and more than 20 co-hosting organizations to mobilize against dirty bioenergy. The event, Forests + Food ≠ Fuel, featured a screening of the documentary Burned, an audience discussion on the environmental impact of burning food-based biofuels, and a call-to-action for Congress to oppose dirty biofuels.

Bioenergy is an emerging industry responsible for clearing old-growth forests at an alarming rate across the globe, releasing high levels of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, to create liquified fuel. Recent lifecycle analyses of biofuels have demonstrated the dangers their manufacturing pose to a healthy environment. Biofuels require heavy application of nitrogen fertilizer – a significant climate polluter – and contribute to the loss of native ecosystems through land conversion. Subsidies for biofuels encourage this destruction by increasing demand for arable farmland and driving rapid deforestation.

The Ways & Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering legislation to renew an expiring biofuels tax credit. As Ranking Member of the committee and Congressman to Georgia’s 5th district, Representative John Lewis has the capacity to steer the country away from dirty biofuels. At the event, attendees were encouraged to reach out to Congressman Lewis and other members of the Ways & Means Committee to oppose this legislation.

For the past three years, Mighty Earth has championed pro-environment reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates increasing biofuel consumption through 2022.