Sunday, June 08, 2008

 

Biofuel Industry Troubles

Governments should drop mandates, not expand them

Weakening demand, caused in part by higher prices, are causing problems for the biofuel industry:
Federal and state biofuel mandates could help shore up demand for biodiesel makers — if they're not repealed. The most recent federal renewable-fuels mandate calls for the U.S. to consume 600 million gallons of diesel from renewable sources in 2009, more than twice the amount used nationally in 2006. That quantity is scheduled to grow year by year, as the Environmental Protection Agency begins requiring fuel refiners and importers to blend more biodiesel into their petroleum diesel stocks.

But it's still just a drop in the bucket. In Washington state alone, more than 1 billion gallons of regular diesel were used last year.

Washington requires that at least 2 percent of diesel sales in the state be biodiesel starting in December.

But such mandates have come under fire in recent months. In April, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the EPA to waive half of the ethanol requirements, in order to protect the state's cattle ranchers from soaring feed prices.

Some U.S. lawmakers have also called for a change to the rules. But federal Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said recently that existing biofuel policy had no major impact on food prices.
Via Open Blog.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer admits that biofuel mandates have made food more expensive, as do other biofeul supporters. He just doesn't see the impact as 'major.' (Who the hell is he to judge?) As I've said before, perhaps someone should ask them why they think higher food prices are a good thing.

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