Global Biz Group: Biofuels Suck

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
global biz group biofuels suck

The European Union (EU) wants to see 10 percent of Eurozone transportation powered by bio-fuels by 2020. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has come out in opposition, claiming biofuels’ ability to tackle global warming is strictly limited. Cooperate and develop this: the organization concludes that biofuels are only economically viable with large state subsidies (surprise!). What’s more, they reckon the mandated European bio-fuel surge could lead to “rising food prices and damage to forests and wildlife.” The OECD wants the EU to rescind its biofuels targets. Their alternative? Legislate energy-saving and more efficient vehicles. “You cannot feed people and soak up carbon and protect biodiversity and fuel cars,” says Brice Lalonde, the former French environment minister who chairs the OECD’s round table on sustainable development. C’est la verite.

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  • Cgraham Cgraham on Oct 19, 2007

    hal, if we did that, where would we get all the seamen for lipstick?

  • Zenith Zenith on Oct 19, 2007

    What a schizophrenic government we have here in Nebraska! One agency says that the ground water supply is being depleted at an alarming rate and wants to curtail irrigation. Another, says that what's left of the groundwater is undrinkable by the very young and the elderly unless filtered through an expensive reverse-osmosis process; due to excess levels of nitrates caused by over-fertilization of corn fields. Yet another agency confounds the other two by pushing the expansion of the ethanol industry--an industry whose viability, despite huge state and federal subsidy, depends upon cheap, heavily irrigated, nitrogen-fertilized corn.

  • Engineer Engineer on Oct 19, 2007

    EJ: Biofuel production has started out with food crops, because it’s easy to do. Obviously, the world needs to progress into the next phase. There's truth in that statement - but it's never quite as simple as that, is it? The powerful ag lobby, also had a lot to do with it. If we are trying to diversify our fuel supplies, why would we not import cheap ethanol from Brazil? Or cheap palm oil (for biodiesel) from Indonesia? At some point the government is going to have to decide whether they are serious about sustainable biofuels, or whether they just want to look for more under the radar ag subsidies. So far they seem to choosing the second option.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Nov 02, 2007

    It does seem insane for us to try to grow our dependence on fuel from foodstocks. All we need is one major earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or volcano in that part of the world, or an infestation or other potato-famine-like event to hit corn or to hit sugar cane or beets, and it's over with. We'll all be poor, sickly, and hungry. But at least we'll have that I'm-so-self-important E-85 badge on our useless cars in our garages.