Category Archives: Biofuels & Climate Change

A Bad Rule Is Better Than No Rule?

California’s Air Resources Board will vote Thursday on its proposed numbers for the life cycle emissions of various fuels, included under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. According to a Greenwire story picked up in the New York Times, advocates of the rule believe that it will stimulate investment in advanced biofuels, since according to the staff analysis those biofuels will be preferred for use in California. But start-up advanced biofuel producers are facing considerable economic Read More >

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Unintended Consequences of California's LCFS

The LA Times today published an insightful opinion article written by Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition titled “Greenhouse gas rules could fuel oil dependence” http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-luft16-2009apr16,0,2388173.story. One of the reasons many experts and stakeholders are following the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) process so closely is that in all likelihood other states and ultimately the Read More >

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CBO Calculates Ethanol’s Impact on Food Prices

According to a newly released Congressional Budget Office report, ethanol contributed between 0.5 and 0.8 percentage points (10-15 percent) of the overall 5.1 percent increase in food prices between April 2007 and April 2008. That estimate is considerably lower than previous estimates. The report also calculated the increase in costs for federal food aid programs, which was the initial reason that Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and James McGovern (D-Mass.) requested it. Despite Read More >

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Best Available Science?

Yesterday, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) released a report, “Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use,” based on the proceedings of its International Biofuels Project Rapid Assessment. The Environmental Working Group immediately praised the report, claiming that it “confirms that corn-based ethanol is a dead end.” (I recommend reading this response to EWG by Biofuels Digest’s Jim Lane.) Far from that confirmation, the report’s recommendations recognize that whether the Read More >

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Ethanol or Tar Sands?

Those who are pushing the inclusion of indirect land use change (ILUC) in government regulations have thus far proposed ILUC as the only indirect effect and that it only apply to biofuels. A letter from more than 100 scientists pointed out this would create unequal boundaries for transportation fuels and unfairly disadvantage biofuels. But are there indirect effects from producing gasoline? In a March 16 hearing, staff for the California Air Resources Board said they Read More >

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