Hayes Shares Research Findings with EPA Officials at Grassley Event

Dermot Hayes highlighted recent research on the economics of biofuels production at a September 3 visit to the Iowa State University BioCentury Research Farm by two top officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley organized and hosted visits to several Iowa agricultural sites for Gina McCarthy and Margo Oge, who are among those in the EPA working on rules to determine the next Renewable Fuels Standard. This policy is expected to have a big impact on ethanol and biodiesel producers in the state and nation.

Hayes, a professor in CARD and the departments of economics and finance, discussed research led by Jerome Dumortier, a graduate research assistant in CARD, analyzing how biotechnology breakthroughs and the resulting yield increases could mitigate any indirect land-use changes worldwide from ramped-up biofuels production. In its assessment of the greenhouse gas impacts of biofuels, the EPA is currently considering whether or not to include projected land-use changes outside of the United States that could be caused indirectly by higher crop prices that stem from increased use of corn and soybeans for biofuels.

The EPA has expressed interest in using the research in their final assessment. The CARD researchers are also in the process of submitting their analysis to scientific journals for review.

(Released September 2009)