Monday, March 8, 2010

While states go broke -- $400 billion wasted on biofuel scam

...A recent report by Rice University (Texas) found that the U.S. spent US$4 billion on biofuel subsidies in 2008 to replace a mere two percent of the U.S. gasoline supply. It estimates that this costs taxpayers about US$82 per barrel, or US$1.95 a gallon more than the retail price of petroleum fuel. By 2022, U.S. biofuel subsidies will have totaled US$400 billion, according to environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth. The EU is no better, giving around €3.7 billion (US$5.2 billion) in biofuel subsidies in 2007, aiming to replace 5.75 percent of transport fuel by the end of 2010.

On top of wasted taxes and higher food prices, biofuels make little environmental sense.

Production in the U.S. and the EU can release more emissions than it avoids. Nobel-Prize-winning chemist, Paul J. Crutzen, estimates that:

“For rapeseed biodiesel, which accounts for about 80 percent of the biofuel production in Europe, the relative warming due to N2O [nitrous oxide] emissions is estimated at 1 to 1.7 times larger than the quasi-cooling effect due to saved fossil CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions. For corn bioethanol, dominant in the U.S., the figure is 0.9 to 1.5...."TheChinaPost

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