Tag Archives: Greenhouse Gas Emission

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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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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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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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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Biofuels and Irreversible Climate Change

Last week, the paper Irreversible climate change because of carbon dioxide emissions was published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The article received coverage on the airwaves, blogosphere, and in the traditional media. Susan Solomon, the lead author on the paper was interviewed by NPR, “We’re used to thinking about pollution problems as things that we can fix,” Solomon says. “Smog, we just cut back and everything will Read More >

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