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Biofuels - not a green bullet says study
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 21, 2008

After the US Congress and the EU commission have mandated massive increases in biofuel use, comes a report from the Joint Research Centre of the EU that says the cost of biofuels outweigh the benefits:
The unpublished working paper by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's in-house scientific body, makes uncomfortable reading for the EU's executive body ahead of a meeting Wednesday where it is to detail a plan for biofuels to make up 10 percent of all transport fuels in the EU by 2020.

The cost-benefit study looks at whether using biofuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves security of supply and creates jobs and delivers an unenthusiastic opinion on all three counts.

"What the cost-benefit analysis shows is that there are better ways to achieve greenhouse gas savings and security of supply enhancements than to produce biofuels," says the report.

"The costs of EU biofuels outweigh the benefits," the researchers state.
Of course, the EU commission thinks it is a lot of bunk, since it clashes completely with their preconceived notions:
European Commission spokesman on energy Ferran Tarradellas Espuny stressed that the study was just a working paper and one of several opinions being taken into consideration as talks continued ahead of Wednesday's decision.

But he made clear that that the 10 percent biofuels objective for vehicles remained.

"Economically speaking there is only one option, that is biofuels," he told a press conference.

"It is good for the environment, it is good for transport and it is good for European agriculture".
But the study notes that the requirements set out by the commission necessitate huge amounts of land:
On agriculture however the study warns that the proposed EU measures will require the use of huge swathes of land outside of Europe and it questions whether it will make any greenhouse gas savings at all.

Green groups warn that the EU plans could lead to forest clearances for biofuels or for food crops displaced by biofuel plantations as farmers switch over.
And it further states:
The report concludes that by using the same EU resources of money and biomass, significantly greater greenhouse gas savings could be achieved by imposing only an overall biomass-use target instead of a separate one for transport.

"The uncertainties of the indirect greenhouse effects, much of which would occur outside the EU, mean that it is impossible to say with certainty that the net greenhous gas effects of the giofuels programme would be positive," the study says.

Adrian Bebb, Agrofuels Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe, called it "a damning verdict on the EU's policy for using biofuels."

"The conclusions are crystal clear — the EU should abandon biofuels and use its resources on real solutions to climate change," he said of the leaked report.
But this is government and bureaucracy we're talking about here. The mandates have been set. In the absence of science, huge promises have been made. Now, despite the "inconvenient truth" it is full speed ahead.
The Commission's plans for biofuels are part of a broader energy strategy to cut down on greenhouse gases to be unveiled on Wednesday.

EU leaders have pledged to increase renewable energy use by 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, with biofuels to make up 10 percent of all transport fuels used by then.
Can't back off of that, can we? As an aside, I have to wonder what the "unpublished report" that Espuny will ever see the light of day, or, if it does, whether it will still contain the criticisms it now contains (and that concern may be one of the reasons someone has leaked portions of the document).
 
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Comments
If the news article is to be believed, the conclusion isn’t quite what the title of your post suggests. It says that the costs EU-produced biofuels outweigh their benefits. There are all sorts of possible reasons for that including the inefficiency of Europe’s agricultural system, the effects of EU subsidies, and so on. Is that generalizable to the U. S. or to Brazil? Beats me.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
Of course the costs outweigh the benefits; if they didn’t, the market would have already been jumping all over producing biofuels for profit. Government is almost always, and almost by definition, in the business of doing things that don’t make sense in the market.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Is that generalizable to the U. S. or to Brazil? Beats me.
Well when the land necessary to produce the corn based ethanol mandate laid out by Congress is estimated to require 90% of that now producing corn, you can at least figure it’s probably not the most efficient or cost effective way to approach the problem of biofuels.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
But the study notes that the requirements set out by the commission necessitate huge amounts of land:
On agriculture however the study warns that the proposed EU measures will require the use of huge swathes of land outside of Europe and it questions whether it will make any greenhouse gas savings at all.

Green groups warn that the EU plans could lead to forest clearances for biofuels or for food crops displaced by biofuel plantations as farmers switch over.
It has been lost in this discussion that "biomass fuel" ( i.e. firewood) use decimated the rich aboriginal forests in North America. It was increased fossil fuel use in the late 19th/early 20th centuries that has allowed those forests to stage something of a comeback recently. It seems that the greenies are in total denial of the coming environmental destruction their proposals entail.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
There’s a sort of grass that, on a square foot basis, produces like 20-25 times the biofuel. Like sawgrass or something like that...

But since it isn’t soy, they will ignore it.

I can’t help but wonder what the stock protfolios look like for those who push biofuel. I suspect they are heavy on the soy futures...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Switchgrass

Jeff, do you really believe that markets are perfectly efficient? My own view is that while inertia is enough to slow a transition (especially as long as the government keeps subsidizing corn, soy, etc.) a transition will ultimately take place.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
Absurd. Why, everyone knows that hemp, as well as having miraculous curative properties, is an excellent alternative fuel. It kept 12 An-caps up and typing for 3 days.

I would’ve thought they’d be more mellow, though.

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I’ve grown leery of alternatives that get shot down when they have half a chance of coming to fruition.

For one, I believe much of the environmental movement touts alternatives, but really only likes them if they make cars more expensive or less appealing for use. I call them "bus only" environmentalists. They basically want people to stop driving cars, so when a fuel alternative that might offer some price competition to gas and otherwise leave the car as we know it intact, they stop liking it. And they start fighting it.

Something similar happened to nuclear power. Run properly, a nuclear powerplant gives of no pollution. So during the environmentally sensitive 70’s a fear campaign was run against all things nuclear. So much so that Three Mile Island finished nuclear power in the US for 3 decades while much of the world has left us behind on that front.

Personally I expect them to attack fuel cell vehicles and even electric vehicles eventually. They simply don’t want you in a car.

Another group that doesn’t want an alternative are the refiners and distributors of gas. Why would they? The inelasticity of the demand for gas is because there are no close alternatives. And don’t try to tell me that inelasticity doesn’t translate to profits.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Ironically, this whole Global Warming thing originated in the UK in the mid 1970s. Margaret Thatcher, after another Welch coal miners’ strike and OPEC cut oil production, decided to cut a deal with the Greens. She offered to provide climate change research and international political support if the environmentalists agreed to let her build safe nuclear power plants and approved oil exploration in the North Sea. They took the bait and the Conservatives took Downing Street.

Today, if you drive from London to York, about every 10 miles you will see the twin stacks of a nuclear power plant. With very high gasoline tax that forced conservation and an ample domestic supply of oil, the British economy is largely insulated from problems in the Middle East.

In a word, the rationale for biofuel was "Iowa." Never mind that ethanol production consumes a gallon of petroleum to produce a gallon of ethanol - a less efficient fuel. Don’t worry that ethanol must arrive by truck and not piped. Corn prices have soared and with them the prices of meats. Ethanol is 30% of a good idea.

We must develop a plan similar to the Brits’ which addresses long term electrical grid power source, long term mobile power source and a transition from today’s legacy systems. In the short term, we need to build nuclear plants, develop fuel cell technology and drill in the Gulf of Mexico, ANWR and any place else we might find oil. Long term we need nuclear power and vehicles based on hydrogen fuel cells. BMW has built an X5 that runs on hydrogen fuel cells and out performs their 4.4L X5.

If the government tries another 55 MPH speed limit or adds $1.00 per gallon in tax, there will be another backlash.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
No, Dave. I am an engineer, and don’t believe that anything is perfectly efficient. Even entropy can be locally counteracted, through the profligate expenditure of energy, and here we are.

No, what I meant by that was not that the market would be already producing biofuels, but that the market would be investing in developing biofuels absent subsidies if doing so made economic sense. It is possible for things to make sense in other realms without making economic sense, and it is those things that government exists to do.

Now, I personally don’t believe that biofuels will be a large part of our energy mix in the near to mid term (say, the next fifty years), though waste biofuels might become a long-lasting part of that mix, because they are simply less efficient than fossil fuels or nuclear. But I also don’t think that the research we are doing on biofuels is wasted. First, I could be wrong, and there could be a lot more energy potential in biofuels (harvested in a sustainable way, rather than from the food part of food crops) at a reasonable cost than I foresee. Second, basic scientific research and applied technical development often have unexpected spinoffs, and are seldom a waste in net, even if the original goals are not achieved.

My personal expectation is that we will move towards a more diversified mix of energy sources (including much more nuclear power, adding wind and solar where they make sense, and so on), will focus on conservation and building efficient structures, will end up exploiting our drillable oil offshore and in Alaska over the objections of environmentalists, and will (assuming that the price of oil stays at or above where it is now) exploit oil sands and oil shales to the extent that they are profitable, or that national security requires. Were I making the budget, and were I to put aside my more purist libertarian feelings when doing so, I would clear the decks on domestic oil production and subsidize oil sand and oil shale production.

All that said, my point above stands: the government exists to do things that need to be done and that the market or social mechanisms cannot reliably or effectively do, so when you see a heavily subsidized project, it should not be a surprise that it wouldn’t pay off otherwise. Nor should it, given the nature of elections, be a surprise when payoffs to potential voter blocks are involved.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Arch, please do not spread falsehoods in your post. Your statement "Never mind that ethanol production consumes a gallon of petroleum to produce a gallon of ethanol" is so ludicrously wrong (it’s actually approximately 20:1 return on petroleum invested) that I question all your information on this topic.

McQ, that goes for you too. Your statement "Well when the land necessary to produce the corn based ethanol mandate laid out by Congress is estimated to require 90% of that now producing corn" is also false, although not as far off as Arch was with his statement. The correct answer is approximately 40% of 2007 acreage. And that’s not taking into account further increases in corn yields.

Is it that hard to spout facts that are actually correct, or reasonably close to correct?

In any case, a European study is completely irrelevent to the United States for multiple reasons:

1) You can make a study concluding the feasibility of biofuels say anything you want depending on the assumptions used. Obviously, if you use corn ethanol (or wheat for the EU) it’s not feasible at all. And since no one currently grows switchgrass or miscanthus commercially in large scales, any feasibility conclusions will depend in large parts about the assumptions to farmer’s patterns.

2) The EU does not have the same resources as the US. It is more densely populated and does not have the agricultural land that we have available to us. In addition, public transportation is far more accessible over there, and thus far more likely to be viewed as a viable alternative than here.

3) The EU’s primary interest in alternate energy is reducing carbon emissions. The United States’ primary interest is reducing oil dependency. That’s a big difference in goals and makes a big difference in what is more likely to occur.

In other words, who cares what the Europeans think on this issue?
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://www.concordparty.net
mariner:

First, there is the energy required to till the fields with a tractor and plant corn.

Second, there is the fertilizer required to grow the corn. Energy is required to make the fertilizer, distribute it and put it on the corn fields.

Third, there is the fuel required to harvest the corn and transport it to the distiller.

Fourth, the fuel required to distill the corn into alcohol and transport it to the fuel producer.

Fifth, the alchohol-based fuel must be transported by truck since ethanol cannot be transported by existing pipeline.

Have you taken the entire cost of ethanol into consideration in your analysis?

Arch

 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
You know, you’re right Mariner, I had the number wrong:
In this year’s State of the Union speech, he set a national goal of producing 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017. The next morning, C. Ford Runge, who studies food and agriculture policy at the University of Minnesota, calculated that this would require 108 percent of the current crop if it all came from corn.
Ahem:
Is it that hard to spout facts that are actually correct, or reasonably close to correct?
Not at all, and it seems I was closer to correct or reasonably closer to correct than you were.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
General Motors has announced a partnership with bio-fuel developer Coskata that it hopes will result in the production of cost-effective E85 by 2011. Coskata’s process addresses many of the issues associated with grain-based ethanol production, including environmental, transportation and land use concerns.

Using patented microorganisms and transformative bioreactor designs, Coskata ethanol is produced via a unique three-step conversion process that turns virtually any carbon-based feedstock—including biomass, municipal solid waste, and a variety of agricultural waste—into ethanol, making production a possibility in almost any geography. The technology is ethanol-specific and enzyme independent, requiring no additional chemicals or pre-treatments.

Simply put, the Coskata process can produce ethanol almost anywhere in the world, using practically any renewable source, including feedstock, garbage, old tires and plant waste. And it can do so for less than a dollar per gallon.

One would think that with GM hurting they would not be doing this unless it had great potential. And switchgrass being environmentally sound, our natural prairie tallgrass, and its use has no unintended consequnces, as does the use of corn. Switchgrass ethanol can deliver around 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, as opposed to corn ethanol which can only yield around 24 percent.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
"I would’ve thought they’d be more mellow, though."

Too many stems and seeds.

"Another group that doesn’t want an alternative are the refiners and distributors of gas."

Hey. I refine and distribute lots of gas, and I don’t give a hoot what you run your car on.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
AMR, I have seen the Coskata press release before; what I would like is more detailed information, because it sounds promising. However, as a recent veteran of GM, I can assure you that citing what GM would do as an affirmative reason for anything is a mistake.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
McQ and Arch:

You have to be careful about what you are saying. Your posts, after my post, were both factually correct. However, neither back up what you had originally posted. At best, your original posts were extremely misleading. However, a reasonable reading of them would show that they are false.

Arch, you originally stated that a gallon of petroleum is required to make a gallon of ethanol. And you back that up by pointing out all the various places energy is required during the process. And it’s true; corn ethanol does provide only slightly more energy than it consumes (it depends on the farming practice and the ethanol plant, but ~1.4J produced for every J consumed is reasonable). The difference, of course, is energy vs petroleum. If one’s primary goal is reducing all fossil fuels, than this is important. If one’s primary goal is reducing oil (as it is in the US), then it matters very little. And if you go down your list of where energy is required, the dominant form of energy (energy consumed at the ethanol plant and energy to create fertilizers) comes from natural gas, NOT petroleum. Only the farming equipment and transportation costs come into play. Hence, the 20:1 return.

You may see this as splitting hairs, but again, it has huge implications when you’re talking about reducing oil use vs reducing CO2 emissions. The major critics of ethanol (especially corn ethanol) try to hide this difference, which is undoubtedly where you got your misconception from. But because interest in alternate fuels here in the US is driven primarily by economic and foreign policy reasons rather than ecological (well, and to pander to Iowan voters...), the oil ROI is far more important than the energy ROI. Hence why I called you out on putting the energy ROI on the oil one.


McQ: Yes, those numbers you quoted are correct. However, note the tiny two letter disclaimer that was not in your original post: if. IF all the ethanol mandated by Congress was produced from corn, it would require 108% of current corn land. But like Arch, that was not what you initially said. You originally said the amount of land needed for the corn based ethanol mandated by Congress. Congress did not mandate 35 billion gallons of corn based ethanol. If you look at H.R. 6, they stated 15 billion gallons would eventually come from corn ethanol, the rest from cellulosics and other biofuels. So if you take this 108% number at face value, the actual acreage of corn required from Congress is 46%, much closer to my quick and dirty calculation. And since Congress’ mandate was what you stated (and not some hypothetical like Dr. Runge gave), the 46% value is the correct one. Like the net energy debate, I see this sort of thing all the time. So I’m not at all surprised to get this mixed up. Hence why I’m trying to stop the spread of falsehoods.

With biofuels, I am (as you may have guessed) involved in this field. And since I’ve been following the political debate for a few years now, I can see the wordplay and tricks used by scientists on both sides of the debate. I know what the underlying assumptions are, and know enough about the other alternatives to those assumptions to know if their statements are reasonable enough. You and Arch aren’t the first to miss the whole picture on those two issues above, and there are plenty of other myths that abound that also miss the whole picture. Thankfully, I try to stay abreast of the entire picture, and thus can form my own opinions about all the pundits out there. Such an option is not available for everyone, obviously. Hence why I called you two out and waited until you posted before completely explaining myself. It was to make it clear how easy it is to manipulate science for policy purposes.

I have no right to tell you what you can and cannot blog about, bit personally this sort of thing is the reason why I am scientifically agnostic about the whole global warming issue (the other big science/politics brouhaha). I’m not an expert in climateology, I can’t judge the merits of statements made by the politically oriented scientists in this debate. And since they are politically oriented, I can’t always tell when they’re trying to hide data or hide implicit assumptions. I don’t know enough about the terminology and the literature to judge such statements, so I try to stay away from forming any conclusions while I read up on the issue. Like I said, you can blog about whatever you like, but perhaps it might be best to take any science related article with the same grain of salt you might take with, say, a DNC press release, or perhaps the New York Times (but I repeat myself). At least until you can be sure there’s no political agenda underneath.
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://
You have to be careful about what you are saying. Your posts, after my post, were both factually correct. However, neither back up what you had originally posted
Thanks for the caution, Mariner, but what I "originally posted" is about an EU study.
McQ: Yes, those numbers you quoted are correct. However, note the tiny two letter disclaimer that was not in your original post: if. IF all the ethanol mandated by Congress was produced from corn, it would require 108% of current corn land. But like Arch, that was not what you initially said. You originally said the amount of land needed for the corn based ethanol mandated by Congress. Congress did not mandate 35 billion gallons of corn based ethanol. If you look at H.R. 6, they stated 15 billion gallons would eventually come from corn ethanol, the rest from cellulosics and other biofuels.
Well first off, the number is 36 billion total.

And at this point there is no "cellulosics" or other biofuels to be had in any quantity and certainly not at a price (presently the DoE estimates cellulosic ethanol costs twice what it costs to produce corn based ethanol) which makes them affordable.

What is available is corn based ethanol and the ethanol mandate stands. As it stands, it will take 108% by 2022 without a viable and affordable cellulosic ethanol production system - which has yet to be built - to pick up that additional 21 billion gallons, won’t it?

Is your contention really that the sort of capacity necessary to produce that quantity of ethanol at an affordable cost will be available in 14 years?

Really?
A renewable energy standard mandates that utilities generate 15% of their power from renewables by 2020. It would set a renewable fuel standard aiming to generate 36 billion gallons of ethanol a year by 2022.
While I appreciate your attempt to make this argument of yours, you’re essentially claiming the equivalent of "vaporware" today will exist by 2022.

In reality you have nothing to back up your numbers but the hope that cellulose based ethanol is a viable and cost effective product by 2022. But in the very real case it won’t be, the mandate for 36 billion gallons of ethanol remains. And the means corn. And it also means 108% of the land.
I have no right to tell you what you can and cannot blog about...
Well I’m glad you figured that part out, but it always helps when you go on one of these little crusades to do exactly that to at least have your facts together before you admonish others about theirs.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If ethanol or other technologies are still vaporware by 2022, enjoy driving this: link without a half-dozen cupholders, 4-speaker CD/radio, ...

And that’s a maybe.

Although fuel economy standards didn’t keep marching along from the 80’s, safety and emissions standards did. So its impossible to turn back the clock to those late 70’s/early 80’s vehicles, especially the ones from Japan. In fact, we’ll be using all the advancement in powertrains and vehicles for the last 25 years to just achieve those vehicles again. Or, you’ll pay a premium for a hybrid and likely won’t really make it without it having a partial exemption.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Sigh.

McQ, I’m thinking you’re moving away from simple misunderstanding to pure spin. Go back and actually READ H.R. 6. Look at what it says. In case you don’t want to bother, I’ll lay it out for you:

36 billion gallons of biobased fuel (not ethanol, actually) mandated by 2022.
21 billion gallons of "advanced" biofuel, where advanced is defined essentially as everything except corn starch.

Those are the numbers that are in the law you’re arguing about. Now, last time I checked, 36b gallons of corn ethanol + other biofuels - 21b gallons of other biofuels = 15b gallons of corn ethanol.

Is that really that hard to understand?

You seem to think that HR 6 only mandates the 36b number, and just kinda assumes most of it will be from other sources. That’s not true. If, as you suggest, cellulosics and other biofuels crashes and burns, then the mandate fails. It does NOT mean we’ll all starve to death just to make the other half of the mandate. At no point in reading HR 6 does one come to the conclusion that 36b gallons of corn based ethanol is mandated. At no point does one get the impression that the advanced biofuels is just a suggestion. Come now, do you REALLY think that if cellulosics crashes in the next 15 years, Congress isn’t going to bother coming up with some new standard? Yeah, even Congress ain’t that stupid.

You’re wrong, McQ.

"Well when the land necessary to produce the corn based ethanol mandate laid out by Congress..."
Congress did NOT mandate 36b gallons of corn based ethanol. To continue saying so after seeing the plain facts above is moving beyond just misunderstanding.

This isn’t a politically oriented crusade. You have no idea of what my political belief regarding biofuels is, and my guess is you’d probably be surprised. My "crusade", as you put it, is to make sure the facts are clear. My "crusade" is against the politicalization of science. You want to argue that biofuels is a terrible idea, then by all means do so. Just make sure you have the right facts to back up your case. In case you haven’t noticed, this one little factoid is pretty darn pointless. I’d argue that 15b gallons is too much already. So why bother being obstinate about it? Why not argue against HR 6’s ACTUAL text, as opposed to some silly spin that clearly is not what Congress intended?
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://
Mariner:

We need to switch to an alternate fuel to avoid dependence on unreliable sources in the Middle East. In my view placing overwhelming demand on our agricultural sector to make fuel instead of food is unwise. You are taxing me in the supermarket and at the pump. Gallon for gallon, ethanol is a less efficient, more expensive fuel.

Producing one unit if ethanol consumes 0.7 to 1.5 units of fossil fuel. Gasoline production consumes only 0.067 units of fossil fuel. Existing infrastructure (pipelines) are already in place to move gasoline from the refineries to regional points of distribution. Ethanol has no such distribution system forcing suppliers to use tanker trucks to move their fuel. Petroleum is developed by private companies, not the US government. How much of the ethanol fuel cost be borne by the taxpayer? False economy.

I am not interested in reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. CO2 is produced naturally by the oceans and the biosphere. According to NASA, the world’s oceans release 100 billion metric tons (BMT) of CO2 annually. Another 30 BMT are generated by the decomposition of biomass (rotting plants and animals). Respiration adds another 30 BMT. All human activity (other than breathing) produce only 8 BMT, of which 6 BMT (3.6%) are from fossil fuels.

If you are interested in reducing CO2, plant trees.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
McQ, I’m thinking you’re moving away from simple misunderstanding to pure spin.
Really ... funny coming from you.
36 billion gallons of biobased fuel (not ethanol, actually) mandated by 2022.
21 billion gallons of "advanced" biofuel, where advanced is defined essentially as everything except corn starch.
Which is irrelevant if the only available biofuel is that extracted from corn ... and that’s the point I’ve been making and you’ve been ignoring. There are "plans" and then there is reality. You seem hung up on the plans while ignoring the fact that what must support those mandates doesn’t exist in meaningful form now and most likely won’t exist in 14 years when the mandate comes into full force.
Come now, do you REALLY think that if cellulosics crashes in the next 15 years, Congress isn’t going to bother coming up with some new standard? Yeah, even Congress ain’t that stupid.
Where in the world have you been living for the last few decades? The chance that they’ll shift the mandates toward corn based ethanol is at least as good if not a better possibility if cellulosics don’t get off the ground than them reducing the mandate.
This isn’t a politically oriented crusade. You have no idea of what my political belief regarding biofuels is, and my guess is you’d probably be surprised. My "crusade", as you put it, is to make sure the facts are clear. My "crusade" is against the politicalization of science.
A) no one mentioned your "political orientation". Crusades don’t have to be about politics.

B) this isn’t about "science" or its politicization. It’s about government mandates and what impact they’ll have if those mandates are left in force and all the vaporware they depend on don’t suddenly explode on the scene in the 14 year timeframe these madates cover. We’ve been chasing alternative fuels since the ’70s . And where are we now in that regard?
Why not argue against HR 6’s ACTUAL text, as opposed to some silly spin that clearly is not what Congress intended?
Apparently because you and I live in a different countries and the Congress you’ve observed over the years is not the same one I’ve observed (the same one which felt it to be "okay" for the federal government to mandate conventional lightbulbs be phased out).

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Mariner:

The fact that fertilizer uses natural gas rather than petroleum is not important. Increasing demand for natural gas increases the price of that product to home and industrial users.

If you are reading up on Climate Change, I would suggest you listen to the growing number of skeptics who are critical of the IPCC reports. Climate is a highly complex, stochastic system. Weather forecasters predict that Sunday we will have sun with a high of 67° and a low of 51°. No one believes that, so why should we believe what they think will happen in a Century.

Great Global Warming Swindle

Doomsday Called Off (A Canadian 5 part series)

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Global Priorities

Dr Reid Bryson, The Faithful Heretic


Dr. Joe LaGuardi
, a Boston intellectual’s view. (Caution: Refrain from drinking hot liquids during this video.)
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
The conclusion that biofuels is a disaster was foregone from the beginning. The amazing lack of basic knowledge on the part of the EU fascists is breathtaking.

Here is your napkin based excercise. Assume that all food grown is eaten, by man, animals, livestock or whatever, there is almost no excess — Food has little shelf life. Assume you need enough new fuel crops to displace fossil fuels. Where is the land going to come from to grow these fuel crops? If you reduce food crops land use and convert that to fuel crops, food supplies will be reduced, then prices will rise and hunger worldwide will spread. There simply won’t be enough food to go around. If you clear land to grow new fuel crops, the stored CO2 is released as the forests are cleared and habitat for other species is lost. The land area needed to grow fuel is astronomical, the net CO2 gain(loss) is quite questionable, and the supply of crop fuel is not guaranteed — What about crop failures. Fuel crops do not grow without the tools of modern society, and that takes fuel

What to do, if you assume the AGW CO2 hoax is true, then the only answer is nuclear power for fixed electrical power plants and skip the transport fuel part ... and we know what the greenies think of that, don’t we?

Else we all go back to living in crowded caves, you first.

Maybe it’s not about CO2 afterall, but about controlling people ...
 
Written By: bill-tb
URL: http://

 
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Vicious Capitalism

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Slackernomics by Dale Franks

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