Category Archives: Environmental & Industrial

Latest From Environmental & Industrial

Controversy on Discounting Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On March 13, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) along with 10 others sent a new letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging “EPA to refrain from including any calculations of the ILUC components in determining life-cycle GHG emissions for biofuels at this time.” The new letter referenced a letter sent in November to then-Administrator Stephen Johnson, which was signed by four of the current 12 signers as well as then Sen. (now Read More >

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California Proposes Numbers for Indirect Land Use Change Emissions

California issued a staff report last week for its “Proposed Regulation to Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.” As expected, the rule proposes a measure of indirect land use change emissions for select biofuels – corn and sugarcane ethanol and soy biodiesel. The report defines the assumptions behind the analysis – in a word, that use of existing crops for biofuels reduces supplies, increases prices, and thereby induces agricultural expansion: Land use change effects occur Read More >

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New Studies Question Cellulosic Biofuels

A new study from MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change examines what it calls the Unintended Environmental Consequences of a Global Biofuels Program. Unintended consequences seems to be the watchword of the year. The authors posit that there will be a feedback loop from climate change and policies that promote biofuels to address it. Climate change itself will affect the productivity of land, shifting agricultural production to new areas, and Read More >

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Lest we forget the nature of research and development

As I was surfing the blogosphere today looking for something to write about I came across Greentech Media‘s post, Algae Biodiesel: It’s $33 a Gallon. The headline, not to mention the first paragraph are both real downers, Although many believe that algae will become one of the chief feedstocks for diesel and even hydrocarbon-like fuels, growing large amounts of algae and then converting the single-celled creatures remains expensive, said experts at the National Biodiesel Conference Read More >

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New Studies Support Cellulosic Ethanol

A team of researchers led by Jason Hill and David Tilman at the University of Minnesota have published an interesting assessment of the health costs of both greenhouse gas and fine particulate matter from corn ethanol, gasoline and cellulosic ethanol. The study is available in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences early release for Feb. 10. The conclusion is favorable to cellulosic ethanol: The benefits of shifting from gasoline and the current generation Read More >

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