Tag Archives: Land Use Change

Discounting the Future of Biofuels

It appears that global leaders’ faith in energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to oil is waning, particularly for biofuels, as reported in GreenInc. Respondents to the survey, which included 1,000 environmental experts, ranked energy conservation and efficiency technologies as having the greatest potential impact, both short- and long-term. Some 44 percent of respondents also said they expect that the current economic crisis will hinder progress toward an effective international climate agreement. 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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What Do You Know, Oil Does Cause Land Use Change

In a recent post, I questioned the apparent assumption in the current debate over greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels that petroleum gasoline production does not have an effect on land use change. It turns out there is a well-developed literature on the direct land use change effects of oil exploration in the Amazon and South America. Chris W. Baynard of the University of North Florida Department of Geology presented a study, “Venezuela’s Heavy Oil Belt: Read More >

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Life Cycle Analysis, International Land Use Change and Uncertainty

Bruce Dale, University Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University, shared this presentation that he gave during a webinar hosted by the North Central Bioeconomy Consortium. In it, he highlights the number of factors in Life Cycle Analysis and Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) models that produce uncertainty – in other words, if the assumptions or data for these factors change, how much do the results change. Dale is primarily examining the “carbon Read More >

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More Models to Measure Land Use Change

As the U.S. EPA and California’s Air Resource Board seek to implement their respective Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuel Standards, economists continue to refine models to measure and predict indirect land use change emissions associated with biofuels. Many of the original critiques of the Searchinger paper in Science that initiated this debate commented on the uncertainty in attributing indirect land use change to biofuels. Prof. Roger Sylvester-Bradley of ADAS UK Ltd., for instance, summarizes many of Read More >

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