Tag Archives: biofuels

A new study claims that biofuels made from corn produce more greenhouse gases than ordinary gasoline.

The uncertainty of science: A new study claims that biofuels made from corn produce more greenhouse gases than ordinary gasoline.

The EPA disagrees. If you read the article you will see that the EPA might be right, but either way it appears to be a case of scientists arguing about statistical details. The bottom line is that the corn biofuels aren’t significantly different than ordinary gasoline, and in fact this whole debate forgets the original reason for backing biofuels, which had nothing to do with global warming. Biofuels can be harvested here in the U.S., and were thought an excellent way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Whether that is true, however, also remains very much uncertain.

One quote in the article, however, demonstrated to me once again the foolishness of using legislation to mandate sales in a market.

Last year, for the fifth time, the EPA proposed reducing the amount [being produced as] required by law. It set a target of 17 million gallons for 2014. The law envisioned 1.75 billion gallons being produced this year.

The law demanded that manufacturers ramp up production to billions, regardless of economics or demand. Such mandates are the stuff of fantasy, and never work.

Posted from Tucson, Arizona.

Two Democrats joined Republicans yesterday on a Senate committee to block the U.S. military from increasing its use of alternatives fossil fuels.

Two Democrats joined Republicans yesterday on a Senate committee to block the U.S. military from increasing its use of alternatives fossil fuels.

What stood out to me in this article was the following quote:

As part of this support, in December the Navy agreed to spend $12 million for 450,000 gallons of “advanced biofuels,” which can be blended with petroleum in a 50:50 mixture and burned in conventional engines. The Navy and Air Force have both set a goal of using advanced biofuels for 50% of their fuel use by the end of this decade. But the current $26-a-gallon price tag angered congressional Republicans, who accuse the Obama Administration of using the military to support its green agenda. [emphasis mine]

$26 per gallon for biofuels? I find it astonishing that anyone voted for this program.

Of course the military wants options. And of course we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, if only to reduce the money pouring into the hands of the radical Islamists of the Middle East. But at that price, these alternative fuels are simply not competitive or affordable.

A UN report says that nearly one billion people are hungry because of biofuels such as ethanol from corn

A UN report this week says that nearly one billion people are hungry, partly because of biofuels such as ethanol from corn.

The findings are echoed in a report published today by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), based in Washington DC. Maximo Torero, one of the report’s authors, says policymakers must “curtail biofuels subsidies” and “discourage the use of food crops in biofuel production” to limit food price volatility.

European plans to boost biofuels will hurt environment, say environmentalists

The law of unintended consequences strikes again! Nine environmental groups have found that the European Union’s plan to promote the use of biofuels over fossil fuels will actually damage the environment. Key quote:

The extra biofuels that Europe will use over the next decade will generate between 81 and 167 percent more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels, says the report.