Tag Archives: biofuel

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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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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