Canadian Government Struggles With Biofuel Issues

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
canadian government struggles with biofuel issues

Last year, the Canadian government initiated an "aggressive push" to produce fuel from crops. The 2007 federal budget included a C$2.2b support package for biofuels. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, "political consensus in favor of biofuels is suddenly breaking down." Member of Parliament (MP) Keith Martin thinks it's time to step back and "put a moratorium on it now so people can actually wrap their heads around the facts; the current biofuel strategy is deeply misguided." The president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association claims "the issues that come up have nothing to do with food supply." Gord Quaiattin says concerned Canadian should blame rising oil prices for food costs. "Everybody's screaming about 'food for fuel'; it's too bad we can't have a rational debate in this country," sighs MP David McGuinty. Still, it may be too late to shut the door: the government has poured billions into a biofuel facilities fund. Fourteen plants are running already and six more being built- so this horse may have already left the barn.

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  • on Apr 30, 2008

    @Powell Lucas The same UN that was screaming AGW and we need biofuels is now declaring they will fix the food shortage. The UN has become such a corrupt useless organization mirroring most of the third world governments that run it.

  • Menno Menno on Apr 30, 2008

    Folks familiar with me here at TTAC know that I've written before, that I've tried E10 (aka "gasohol") whis is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, in cars since 1979, and in virtually EVERY case, my efficiency (MPG) has dropped from about 5% to 25%. In EVERY CAR. I've tested probably over a dozen cars. So, ethanol is WORSE than wasteful, because we are obviously not only burning food but we're having to import MORE oil because of a lack of efficiency in the cars caused by corrupting the fuel with ethanol. Yes, post-1984 cars particularly suffer, because the oxygen sensor on the exhaust "tells" the computer to enrichen the mixture (because ethanol is an oxygenate). Plus, ethanol has fewer BTU per gallon, so even 10% ethanol causes folks to push the go-pedal harder to get their expected performance, though I think people do this subconsciously. Ethanol will prove to be one of the biggest mistakes the world has ever seen. We should not starve people so we can drive SUVs, oversized trucks and powerful cars. Anyone saying "oh it's the oil which is causing the food crisis" is being disengenious. Corn being planted in massive quantities to make ethanol is displacing other crops, which raises food prices. It's not brain surgery to figure this out... Glad to see Canada following Europe in smartening up on this situation, hope America follows soon.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Apr 30, 2008

    It only seems like yesterday that everybody was on the biofuel bandwagon...