Biofuel Boondoggle of the Day: Connecticut Pay-Offs Don't

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
biofuel boondoggle of the day connecticut pay offs don t

Biofuels are driving up the price of food. Biofuel production threatens to worsen water shortages and force poor communities off their land. That’s the damning conclusion of a United Nations bioenergy forum, as reported by CNN. In its opposition to the biofuels boom, the U.N. is not alone. The Hartford Courant reports that residents of Suffield, Connecticut are none too pleased with CT Biodiesel's plan to build the largest biodiesel plant in the Northeast in their town. "No Biodiesel" signs sprouted up on front lawns. Vexed by health and safety (especially fire) concerns, residents flooded planning meetings, chanting, "Get out of our town." CT [Biofuels] responded in the time-honored American tradition; company officials offered the town 35k gallons of free biodiesel a year, more than $400k a year in projected property taxes, guaranteed first crack at new jobs and aid for the town's fuel bank, student scholarships and charitable organizations. “Resident Laureen Peck had a message for company officials at a recent town meeting: ‘There are safety issues here, and money will not override us.’”

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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jan 28, 2008

    A-rod is definitely lumping environmentalists in ignorance. Here's his list, revised: Wind - separates true environmentalists (who strongly support it under most conditions) from NIMBYs Nuclear - maybe. But it's no panacea, because it's expensive, because of terrorism concerns, because of no solution to waste and because uranium mining is environmentally filthy. But it may need to be included in the mix because of CO2 problems Hydro - should be limited because of damage to river ecology. Ethanol - from corn is a boondoggle--no more energy out than energy in to make the stuff. From sugar cane, net energy is much better. From switchgrass, probably good if they can get the price down. No Biodiesel - depends on source of the biodiesel. Palm oil is a bad source, because the palm farms replace peat that holds tremendous amounts of CO2 in sequestration. In other words, by converting the peat lands to palm production, you release a huge amount of CO2. Other sources may be relatively benign. No Clean Coal - Coal = BAD there is no such thing as clean coal. If they figure out how to use the CO2 to grow algae, and turn that into fuel, if they quit destroying mountains in appalachia to mine the coal, then maybe "clean coal" will live up to its name No Oil or Gas - Only Fidel can drill off our coasts. (this is a joke, right, A-rod?) Ocean Tech (wave and tidal) very benign, even aesthetically. probably will be a major contributor. Large installations already going in in Europe, much investigation in the US, particularly by the CA utility. energy efficiency/conservation measures this is the source of by far the biggest bang for the buck, and the greatest potential in absolute terms. Most of this stuff is a hell of a lot more complicated than A-rod makes it out to be.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 28, 2008

    The Fidel thing is no joke. Foreign powers are now drilling in areas that our government will not let our own oil companies develop. How stupid is that?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 28, 2008

    R. Schwartz, Thanks for the link. I love how the author makes it sound as if these fish started the endangered species movement on their own. Like they reached out of the hole, grabbed some spelunker by the collar, and gave him a long diatribe on the immorality of killing off species. Amazing.