Tag Archives: Searchinger

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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New Biofuels Manifesto

University of Minnesota Professor David Tilman, Princeton University Visiting Scholar Tim Searchinger, Dartmouth Professor Lee Lynd and others involved in the debate over the environmental and social impacts of biofuels have published in Science magazine what amounts to a new manifesto on how biofuels can be done right. The authors list five biofuel feedstocks that are the best in terms of sustainability — “lower life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions than traditional fossil fuels and with little or Read More >

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The Case for Correct Logic

Michael Grunwald of Time Magazine recently published a new, rather self-serving article in the Washington Monthly, filled with distorted logic and mangled facts. His portrayal of Tim Searchinger as a humble lawyer who experienced an epiphany about biofuels is disingenuous at best. While now a visiting scholar at Princeton University, Tim Searchinger was formerly a lobbyist for the Environmental Defense Action Fund and was intimately involved in lobbying key Members of Congress during the drafting 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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I Say Sustainable, You Say…

The Guardian newspaper reported last week that environmental activist and reporter George Monbiot had successfully petitioned Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban an ad containing the tagline, “Biofuels — A Lower-Priced, Sustainable Answer to OPEC’s Oil.” The ad was sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, the European Bioethanol Fuel Association, and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association. Though Monbiot’s petition is not publicly available, the ASA’s adjudication response indicates it Read More >

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