Category Archives: Biofuels & Climate Change

International Energy Agency Statement on Biofuels

There has been much in the media lately on biofuels, climate change and the food crisis. The International Energy Agency, energy policy advisor to 27 member countries (one of which is the United States) formed during the oil crisis of 1973-74 recently released a statement on biofuels, “The recent shortage in grain stocks and surge in food prices have triggered questions about the sustainable production of biofuels. In reality, there are a number of important Read More >

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Why the RFS Is Vital

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality earlier this week held a hearing on implementation of the new Renewable Fuel Standard. Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Assistant Administrator Robert Meyers, Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association, Nathanael Greene with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Randy Kremer of KL Process Design Group, and Dr. Mark Stowers with POET were among those who testified. Stowers noted, A strong corn Read More >

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Can Stopping Ethanol Solve the Current Food Crisis?

President Bush spoke out last week on the global food crisis, suggesting that reducing trade barriers would help increase food supplies. We’re also urging countries that have instituted restrictions on agricultural exports to lift those restrictions. Some countries are preventing needed food from getting to market in the first place, and we call upon them to end those restrictions to help ease suffering for those who aren’t getting food. “We’re also urging countries to remove Read More >

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The 15 Percent Solution

Politicians are now beginning to call for a repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) recently announced that she would introduce legislation to freeze the biofuel mandate at current levels, saying, “Expanding biofuels while refusing to take other measures, such as lifting the ban on oil and natural gas production in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf, is counterproductive.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) also asked for a 50 percent Read More >

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Questioning the Relationship Between Biofuels and Food Costs

A new study released by Texas A&M’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center undermines one of the key assumptions used in the studies that attributed a huge “carbon debt” to biofuels. The assumption used by Searchinger et al. is that biofuel production increases the cost of all commodity grains, encouraging countries to convert additional land – such as rainforest, peat land, and savannah – to agricultural production. The Searchinger paper calculates that agricultural production will have Read More >

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