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Posts Tagged ‘biofuels’

The Future of Biofuels Part 3: Biodiesel

Faithful readers will have seen my data-based analysis of the US mandates for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)  big choices on how to administer the program looking ahead. These choices highlight how the “food versus fuel” debate extends far beyond corn. The bottom line is that if the agency expands the RFS advanced mandate to make up for the slow commercialization of non-food “cellulosic” fuels, it will undermine the environmental and fuel security goals of the fuel standard, and contribute to food supply problems worldwide. Read More

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Great Scott! The Consequences of Accelerating the Mandate for Food-Based Advanced Biofuels

Yesterday I posted a lengthy, data-based analysis of the past and present of our biofuels policy. Now I’d like to go back to the future and examine the consequences of expanding mandates for food-based biofuels to make up for the slow commercialization of better, non-food “cellulosic” fuels. While the expansion of biofuel mandates will probably not create a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum, this will be a bit of a walk into frightening territory – so proceed with caution. Read More

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The Future of Biofuels in 10 Charts and Maps

I’ve written a couple posts recently on the importance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decisions over the implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in 2013. This past January, the EPA proposed volume targets for the various types of biofuels mandated by the RFS, and are taking public comments on the proposal until April 7. While this happens every year, we are entering a critical new phase of the RFS and the approach the EPA takes to the volume setting process over the next few years will have broad environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Read More

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President’s Proposed Energy Security Trust Could Help, But Much More Needed to Address Oil Use

During President Obama’s State of the Union address, he spoke to the importance of cutting America’s oil use. As part of that, he proposed the creation of an Energy Security Trust that would use revenues from oil and gas production to invest in research for clean vehicle technology. The goal: to “shift our cars and trucks off oil for good” and “free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”

So, would a proposed trust help or hurt efforts to cut oil use? Or is it too soon to tell? Read More

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The Coming Fork in the Road for Biofuels

For those of us in the business of educating the public and influencing policy makers, feature stories in the New York Times can be game changers. So the story by the Times’ Elisabeth Rosenthal published earlier this month on the cost of biofuels in Guatemala was not only great journalism on an important human rights issue, it also (hopefully) showed our government decision-makers the human cost of biofuels policy at a time when they have a real opportunity to do something about it. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Vehicles  

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The Food Versus Fuel Fight Is About Much More than Corn

Only a few years ago everyone was bullish on biofuels. It was that rarest of things: something that Al Gore and George Bush agreed on. Times have changed — and changed quickly. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Vehicles  

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Biomass Resources in the United States: More Biomass Than You Can Shake a Stick At

The internet has made it possible to answer questions faster than you can ask them. For instance, it took me all of 10 seconds to discover there 953 other Jeremy Martins in this country. There are also, I was shocked to see, nearly 1,000 James Bonds, making the country a much more hazardous place for international criminals than I’d previously imagined.

In the age of information overload, often the trick is to find ways of synthesizing data in a way that is helpful and useful. We at UCS would like to think that’s something we’re pretty good at. Last month I completed The Promise of Biomass: Clean Power and Fuel – If Handled Right, a comprehensive assessment of biomass resources in the United States available for sustainable use for clean power and fuel development. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Energy, Vehicles  

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