Tag Archives: international land use change

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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Europe to Study Indirect Land Use

The European Parliament on Dec. 17 adopted amendments to the Renewable Energy Sources Directive, raising targets for production of biofuels but at the same time setting strict sustainability standards to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of road transport fuels. The Parliament’s adopted text makes clear that it intends to calculate climate change emissions from international land use, but that the science is not currently available to do so: Whereas (11) In Read More >

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EPA Continues to Move Toward Calculation of Indirect GHGs

Dr. Bruce Dale of Michigan State University published a Commentary in the Washington Times on Nov. 26, calling for sound science in development of the EPA’s rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Dr. Dale points out, “No actual data exist that connect U.S. domestic ethanol production with, to cite a widely quoted example, the clearing of the Amazon rain forest. Instead, the paper’s conclusions depend entirely on economic modeling and assumptions.” He then discusses his Read More >

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Environmental Groups Pressure EPA to Calculate Indirect Emissions

The latest salvos on the EPA’s rulemaking process for the Renewable Fuel Standard come from six major environmental groups – the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Environmental Working Group – and academics at the University of California Berkeley. In their letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, the environmental groups argue that delaying conclusions about which biofuels make the grade under the Read More >

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