Mandating ethanol and biodiesel consumption in the united kingdom dating the new testament books
Reducing our demand for petroleum could also reduce its price, generating economic benefits for American consumers, but also potentially increasing petroleum consumption abroad (Huang et al. It is important to note that biofuel production and consumption, in and of itself, will not reduce GHG or conventional pollutant emissions, lessen petroleum imports, or alleviate pressure on exhaustible resources.
Biofuel production and use must coincide with reductions in the production and use of fossil fuels for these benefits to accrue.
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As a result, some research suggests that biofuel production may give rise to several undesirable developments.
Changes in land use patterns may increase GHG emissions by releasing terrestrial carbon stocks to the atmosphere (Searchinger et al. Biofuel feedstocks grown on land cleared from tropical forests, such as soybeans in the Amazon and oil palm in Southeast Asia, generate particularly high GHG emissions (Fargione et al. Even use of cellulosic feedstocks can spur higher crop prices that encourage the expansion of agriculture into undeveloped land, leading to GHG emissions and biodiversity losses (Melillo et al. Biofuel production and processing practices can also release GHGs. Regarding non-GHG environmental impacts, research suggests that production of biofuel feedstocks, particularly food crops like corn and soy, could increase water pollution from nutrients, pesticides, and sediment (NRC 2011).
Academic studies using other economic models have also found that biofuels can lead to reductions in lifecycle GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels (Hertel et al. Moreover, in the case of waste biomass, no additional agricultural production is required, and indirect market-mediated GHG emissions can be minimal if the wastes have no other productive uses. “Stacking low carbon policies on the renewable fuels standard: Economic and greenhouse gas implications.” 56 (May 2013): 5-15.
In contrast to fossil fuels, which are exhaustible resources, biofuels are produced from renewable feedstocks.
Economic models show that biofuel use can result in higher crop prices, though the range of estimates in the literature is wide. “Effects of US Maize Ethanol on Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Estimating Market-mediated Responses.” 319: 1235–1238.
For example, a 2013 study found projections for the effect of biofuels on corn prices in 2015 ranging from a 5 to a 53 percent increase (Zhang et al. The National Research Council’s (2011) report on the RFS included several studies finding a 20 to 40 percent increase in corn prices from biofuels during 2007 to 2009.
Depending on the feedstock and production process and time horizon of the analysis, biofuels can emit even more GHGs than some fossil fuels on an energy-equivalent basis.
Biofuels also tend to require subsidies and other market interventions to compete economically with fossil fuels, which creates deadweight losses in the economy.