Author Archive: Paul Winters

Paul Winters

Paul is a communications director for BIO. An alumnus of UCLA and the University of California Davis, he moved to Washington, DC, in 2000.

Latest Posts

Does Oil Cause Indirect Land Use Change?

I’ve been paying a lot of attention recently to new analyses attempting to model carbon emissions from indirect land use change, which is the conversion of land needed to maintain an international balance of supply and demand for agricultural crops, an effect that is heavily determined by crop prices. These new analyses raise a question about the existing assumption that oil has zero effect on land use change. Tim Searchinger, the lead author of one Read More >

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More Models to Measure Land Use Change

As the U.S. EPA and California’s Air Resource Board seek to implement their respective Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuel Standards, economists continue to refine models to measure and predict indirect land use change emissions associated with biofuels. Many of the original critiques of the Searchinger paper in Science that initiated this debate commented on the uncertainty in attributing indirect land use change to biofuels. Prof. Roger Sylvester-Bradley of ADAS UK Ltd., for instance, summarizes many of Read More >

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How to Measure Land Use Change

Both the U.S. EPA and California’s Air Resources Board are currently considering how and whether to incorporate the indirect effects of U.S. biofuels production on carbon emissions from land use change in other parts of the world. The Renewable Fuel Standard passed by Congress in December 2007 requires inclusion of “significant emissions from land use changes” as part of the life cycle analysis of carbon emissions from biofuels. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard adopted by Read More >

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EPA Denies Texas Request to Waive RFS

Today, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced the decision to deny Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s request for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Johnson said in a press release: “After reviewing the facts, it was clear this request did not meet the criteria in the law. The RFS remains an important tool in our ongoing efforts to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our dependence on foreign oil, in aggressive yet practical ways.” In Read More >

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A Tale of Two Studies

Don Mitchell of the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group has released an official version of his analysis of biofuels’ impact on the rise in global food prices. An early version of the study was leaked to the Guardian in London on July 4. Mitchell attributes 70 to 75 percent of the increase in food commodities prices to “biofuels and the related consequences of low grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity and export bans.” Read More >

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