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California KO’s Biofuel

Biofuels, Not the Only Option!

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Transportation accounts for more than 40% of California’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the state relies on petroleum-based fuels for 96 percent of its transportation needs. Causing in January 2007, California Governor Schwarzenegger to issue an executive order mandating a statewide goal be established to reduce the carbon intensity of California’s transportation fuels by at least 10 percent by 2020 (“2020 Target”). Establishing a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) greenhouse gas standard for transportation fuels.

Late Thursday, April 23, becoming the first in the nation, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved standards to target greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels. With the aim to cut 16m tons/year of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2020.

biofuelphoto8But in a blow to biofuels producers, the state will measure not only a fuel’s direct greenhouse gas emissions, but also life cycle and indirect land use emissions related to its production. Under the proposed regulations, biofuels like corn-based ethanol, which causes lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline when measuring direct impacts, could end up scoring higher on emissions.

Makers of ethanol said the rating system unfairly ties their U.S. made corn-based fuel to mass deforestation – not in the United States – but in developing nations. Ethanol critics say the entire biofuel industry should bear global responsibility for clearing of trees to make farmland to grow crops that will be used to make the fuel.

For months the debate has been raging, people have been voicing a lot of strong opinions on the issue of including standards for Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), prompting New Fuels Alliance to fire off a letter of exception, on October 23, 2008, signed by 30 Biofuel involved companies and individuals, to CARB Chairman Mary Nichols because the “field of ILUC – and perhaps indirect impact modeling in general – is too uncertain to regulate at this time.”

Several U.S. states are considering similar measures and even the European Union watching with interest.

If the over all effects of biofuel means more emissions for the planet (deforestation, et al), then there’s a problem. But if biofuels component source was verifiably produced from existing farm land or fast growing, plentiful, resources such as algae or kudzu, then perhaps this is the compromise.

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No Responses to “California KO’s Biofuel”

  1. Says:

    California KO’s Biofuel | Forced Green…

    Transportation accounts for more than 40% of California’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the state relies on petroleum-based fuels for 96 percent of its transportation needs….

  2. wilson Says:

    Linda, I always have a very funky idea here. I was wondering, it would be a perfect solution, if we can turn the fast-growing grass into fuels, as it takes about 1-2 months to completely grow. By using this method, we won’t need to use the petroleum anymore…

    wilsons last blog post..Don’t Force Your Baby Learn to Walk Too Early!

  3. Heath Says:

    Wilson, there are people looking at “switch grass” as an alternative to corn based ethanol. The problem becomes the transportation of the switch grass to a plant to refine it into ethanol. Also, it’s not the most effiecient. (but then again corn ethanol has become a lot more effecient than it was 5 years ago) But I know many are working on those problems. Another alternative is using corn stover. Which is basically all of the corn plant except for the grain. So the corn cob and plant can be turned into fuel. But the same with grass, it’s not the most efficient. But both switch grass and corn stover have the advantage of not cutting into the food supply.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … They have been working on it so hang in there with your ideas! 🙂

    Hi Heath … Excellent comment! Either the grass or corn stove may not be as efficient but it is a biofuel that could be as beneficial. If the engine can handle any biofuel than no matter where you are in the world, you have go power!

  5. vein Says:

    I don’t think biofeul is the problem, corn is. Corn is a wasteful plant to use and means feul competes with food and animal feed uses. It would make much more sense to use a whole plant source like a grass.

    veins last blog post..Sunday Comic

  6. Diane Scott Says:

    My feeling… stop looking for replacements that use what’s ON the planet but comes to the planet naturally – every day…. why not go solar power for cars. Stick with something we don’t “use up,” plus isn’t corn one of those crops that completely strips the soil after a few rotations? Or am I wrong?

    Diane Scotts last blog post..Why Swindles and Swindlers Can Be Hard to Detect

  7. Linda Says:

    Hi Vein … yes, the corn is the issue but other biofuels are not as efficient as of yet. They are getting there.

    Hi Diane … yes and no. there is a thing called crop rotation due to minerals being depleted, thus the burning the fields or fertilizing is done. Solar and air are the way to go until they tell us that both of those items are going away. But we will know that when we can’t breathe anymore, right! 🙂

  8. Barbara Says:

    I think we should at least look into more use of natural gas, like T.Boone Pickens suggests. At least, it is readily available and doesn’t involve a food source, and waiting to grow a crop.

    Barbaras last blog post..Green Inspirations!

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … Natural gas is another alternative, true. However, it still is a co2 emitter. I like T. Boone’s Wind project, if he ever places a go on it as he placed a hold on it when natural gas prices went down.

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