Tag Archives: renewable fuel standard

Compounded Climate Accounting Errors

Timothy Searchinger, visiting scholar at Princeton University, Dan Kammen of the University of California Berkeley, David Tilman of the University of Minnesota and other authors from the Environmental Defense Fund published an interesting new proposal in the Policy Forum section of Science magazine today. The argument put forward is that “Replacing fossil fuels with bioenergy does not by itself reduce carbon emissions, because the CO2 released by tailpipes and smokestacks is roughly the same per Read More >

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Visualizing the indirect effects of oil

It has been pointed out numerous times on this blog (here, here and here) that you can’t have a true comparison of fuels if you account for the direct effects of all fuels and the indirect effects of only one. But that is what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resource Board (ARB) have proposed. Both the EPA in their proposed RFS II rules and ARB in their Low-Carbon-Fuel-Standard have calculated the Read More >

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Corn Growers Try to Understand Indirect Land Use Change

The National Corn Growers Association’s recent “Land Use: Carbon Impacts of Corn Based Ethanol 2009” conference highlighted the confusion the issue of indirect land use change has engendered for farmers. Chuck Zimmerman of AgWired summed it up in a report from the conference: Do you understand things like indirect land use when it comes to regulations via departments like the EPA due to the RFS? Me either. And I’ve sat in on conferences and discussions Read More >

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Piping in the Tar Sands

Previously on this blog, I posed this question: Ethanol or Tar Sands? With Canada as the largest supplier of petroleum to America, it was a simple question: do we want to get the additional transportation fuel we need from domestic, renewable sources or from clearing Canadian forests? Well, we got an answer of sorts late last week when the U.S. State Department issued a permit to Enbridge Energy Corp. to build a 326-mile pipeline from Read More >

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Environmentalists Want to “Stick” It to Farmers

Jason Hill of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment wrote recently in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, asking why the Waxman-Markey climate change bill should treat agricultural emissions differently from energy and transportation emissions, with a “carrot-and-stick approach, one in which fossil fuels suffer the stick while agriculture feasts upon the carrot.” Hill’s primary objection to the bill is the amendments added by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), which exempt agriculture and forestry from Read More >

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