Darn, and Oregon's Willamette Valley Democratics just passed a new "clean fuels" law that mandates more biofool in our gas pumps.
The multi-billion-dollar U.S. biofuels industry — promoted and expanded for more than a decade by the federal government — may be built on a false assumption, according to a University of Michigan study published Thursday that is sure to stir all sides in the contentious debate over the industry.
Despite their purported advantages, biofuels — created from crops such as corn or soybeans — cause more emissions of climate change-causing carbon dioxide than gasoline, according to the study from U-M Energy Institute research professor John DeCicco.
It's safe to say that this isn't going to sit well with the Religious Left; it may be peer-reviewed science, but they'll still call him a "denier" (among other things).
It's not too surprising that food prices - everything from cereal to tortillas to meats and dairy products - have been steadily increasing as food is turned into mandated biofool. Farmers are growing a lot more corn (and lowering the aquifers for irrigation to do so), but nearly 40% of the crops are diverted from feed and seed to biofool production. This will not end well.
Over the past decade, as the consumption of corn ethanol and biodiesel more than tripled in the U.S., the increased carbon uptake by the crops only offset 37% of carbon dioxide emissions from biofuel combustion, DeCicco said.
"When it comes to the emissions that cause global warming, it turns out that biofuels are worse than gasoline," he said.
Surprisingly, some environmental groups are now coming around to the concept:
Emily Cassidy, a research analyst with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, said DeCicco is looking into an area that "deserves a lot of scrutiny."
"There is mounting evidence that the Renewable Fuel Standard has been bad for the environment and the climate, and this paper is a new take on that," she said. "There are some fuels that could be beneficial to the climate, but those fuels would mostly be using crop waste and woody biomass that wouldn't be used for other things."
Unsurprisingly, the Renewable Fuels Association and other groups that rake in billions of dollars in subsidies each year disparage the findings, claiming that the professor is biased against their industries.
DeCicco countered that all of his research is peer-reviewed, meaning other scientists in the field have, and will continue to, scrutinize it. As for the petroleum industry funding, DeCicco said that years ago, he reached out to other more environmentally oriented funding sources that he declined to specify, who weren't interested in funding his examination of life-cycle analysis.
What a surprise. Why would any group that's getting piles of cash from government subsidies be interested in funding research into the actual cost/benefit ratio? And left unmentioned is the fact that biofools provide considerably less useful energy than conventional fuels.