Skip to comments.News Release - National Academies: Ethanol Worsens Greenhouse Gases
Posted on 10/16/2011 6:20:15 AM PDT by KeyLargo
News Release - National Academies: Ethanol Worsens Greenhouse Gases
Published October 4, 2011
Washington, D.C. -- A new report by the National Academy of Sciences has found that corn ethanol production increases greenhouse gas emissions and damages soil, air, water and wildlife habitat. As well it says advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol are unlikely to prove practical substitutes for either corn ethanol or fossil fuels.
This report highlights the severe damage to the environment from corn-based ethanol, said Sheila Karpf, EWGs legislative and policy analyst. It underscores just how misguided U.S. biofuels policy has become. It catalogs the environmentally damaging aspects of corn-based ethanol and also casts serious doubt on the future viability of so-called advanced biofuels made from other sources.
During the Congressional debate over the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, the Environmental Working Group argued for provisions to roll back biofuels mandates of production of these renewable fuels that were found to be harmful to the environment. But the Renewable Fuel Standard finally enacted did not include such language.
The report from the National Research Council, a branch of the National Academies of Sciences, concludes that achieving the renewable fuel standard mandate is likely to increase federal spending while further damaging the economy and environment, particularly soil and water.
The report, requested by Congress, concludes that ethanol increases greenhouse gas emissions, pollutes water and uses more water in its production than gasoline. It says that cellulosic ethanol is very unlikely to meet its Renewable Fuel Standard mandates by 2022. Indirect land use changes due to biofuels production will zero out any potential benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels and may actually increase them in both the short- and long-term.
To date taxpayers have spent $23 billion between 2005 and 2010, or $6 billion a year, subsidizing corn-based ethanol without significantly reducing reduction in Americas use of fossil fuels. The report is yet another reminder that significant reforms to the renewable fuel standard are critical, including the addition of strict and enforceable environmental safeguards.
The Renewable Fuel Standard has always been about corn, corn and more corn, Karpf said. The fact is, it wont bring energy independence, protect our air or combat global warming. As our country faces record national debt, it is time to put American taxpayers and our soil and water ahead of entrenched special interests.
American farmers have diverted 40 percent of corn production from food and feed to fuel. Land once used for soybean production has been converted to corn to meet the demand for biofuels set out in the RFS. The new report provides more evidence that corn ethanol production continues to raise food prices around the world and harms the planet by releasing more greenhouse gases than regular gasoline.
Link to report:
**Hear more from EWGs Sheila Karpf on the biofuels mandate and the ethanol lobby's dwindling support in Congress at 11am (EST) today on The Diane Rehm Show.
Published on Environmental Working Group (http://www.ewg.org)
The Left is doomed
It's the Obamacare, stupid!
One-half gallon of oil in the form of pesticides per bushel of corn would cost $2 to $3 per bushel. If this were true -- and it clearly isn't -- it should be enough to illustrate to literally anyone that the price of petroleum is quite literally the ONLY thing driving corn prices. And this idiotic piece of agitprop -- from a hydrogen "energy" advocacy site -- also shows the guy in the encounter suit spraying chemical fertilizer, a sight that I've never been privileged to see, what with me *growing up on a farm*.
- The Bum Rap on Biofuels 
- Campaign to vilify ethanol revealed 
- Oil Price Pressure Driving Global Switch to Biofuels 
Date: Oct. 4, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Certain Biofuel Mandates Unlikely to Be Met by 2022
Unless New Technologies, Policies Developed
.... However, air-quality modeling suggests that production and use of ethanol to displace gasoline is likely to increase air pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone, and sulfur oxides. In addition, published estimates of water use over the life cycle of corn-grain ethanol are higher than petroleum-based fuels.”
link to report here:
Try reading the per acre yield. LOL, and all you do is press the oil out, no billions of tons of sugar and no trillions of galions of water and after the process it is still animal feed. And guess what you can do it without a government check.
Try reading the per acre yield. LOL, and all you do is press the oil out, no billions of tons of sugar and no trillions of gallons of water and after the process it is still animal feed. And guess what you can do it without a government check.
You have no idea how biodiesel is made, do you? Alcohol and a catalyst (lye is the simplest) are needed.
A typical acre of cropland will produce 5 times as much corn ethanol as rapeseed biodiesel.
We knew it would turn out this way...
LOL, you do not distill rapeseed, you press it and the little oils run out screaming that hurt. LOL, do you think everything involves a high engery distrillary. Simple process: http://www.angelfire.com/mi3/gmpr/biodiesel1.htm
You have no clue. I do biodiesel research. Do the math.
The main point is to remove tax payers money and the government out of the damn mandate market.
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...Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The extent to which using biofuels rather than petroleum will reduce greenhouse gas emissions is uncertain, the report says. How biofuels are produced and the changes in land use or land cover that occur in the process affect biofuels’ impact on such emissions. Dedicated energy crops will have to be grown to meet the mandate, which will probably require conversion of uncultivated land or the displacement of commodity crops and pastures. If the expanded production involves removing perennial vegetation on a piece of land and replacing it with an annual commodity crop, then the land-use change would incur a one-time greenhouse gas emission from biomass and soil that could be large enough to offset benefits gained by displacing petroleum-based fuels with biofuels over subsequent years. Such land conversion may disrupt any future potential for storing carbon in biomass and soil. In addition, the renewable fuel standard can neither prevent market-mediated effects nor control land-use or land-cover changes in other countries.
Only in an economic environment characterized by high oil prices, technological breakthroughs, and a high implicit or actual carbon price would biofuels be cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, the committee concluded. The best cost estimates of cellulosic biofuel are not economical compared with fossil fuels when crude oil’s price is $111 per barrel. Furthermore, absent major increases in agricultural yields and improved efficiency in converting biomass to fuels, additional cropland will be required for growing cellulosic feedstock. This could create competition among different land uses and, in turn, raise cropland prices.
In addition, achieving the renewable fuel standard would increase the federal budget outlays, mostly as a result of increased spending on grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other payments to support the development of cellulosic biofuels and foregone revenue as a result of biofuel tax credits. Moreover, nutritional and other income assistance programs are often adjusted for changes in the general price level. If food retail prices go up, expenses could increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Special Supplemental Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, as well as for much larger income assistance programs, such as Social Security, military and civilian retirement programs, and Supplemental Security Income Program. Nevertheless, given that biofuels are only one of many factors affecting food retail prices, it will be hard to attribute any future increases in program costs to the standard alone.
Although biofuels hold potential for providing net environmental benefits compared with using petroleum-based fuels, specific environmental outcomes from increasing biofuels production to meet the renewable fuel consumption mandate cannot be guaranteed. The type of feedstocks produced, management practices used, land-use changes that feedstock production might incur, and such site-specific details as prior land use and regional water availability will determine the mandate’s environmental effects, the report says. Biofuels production has been shown to have both positive and negative effects on water quality, soil, and biodiversity. However, air-quality modeling suggests that production and use of ethanol to displace gasoline is likely to increase air pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone, and sulfur oxides. In addition, published estimates of water use over the life cycle of corn-grain ethanol are higher than petroleum-based fuels...
See post #25
I don't think I'm imagining this.
Here's the problem ~ "The reports authoring committee used the Biofuel Breakeven Model to evaluate the costs and feasibility of a local or regional market for cellulosic biofuel made using a variety of different feedstocks. The model estimates the minimum price that biomass producers would be willing to accept for a dry ton of biomass delivered to the biorefinery, and the maximum price that biorefineries would be willing to pay to at least break even.
Just like Anthropogenic Global Warming.
This one even reads minds by imagining the minimum price biomass producers would be willing to..... blah,blah, blah.
So, let's assume a gigantic war in the Middle East with nuclear bombs being tossed around. Bet that's not even an issue in that model ~ but it should be!
Frankly, anything that starts with "estimate" followed by "would be" followed by "would be" in the same paragraph is probably not something I will necessarily believe.
Don't you imagine the guys who wrote up the report know that.
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