grain of salt, and that ethanol biofuel …

Biofuel has become a Green’s owned dilemma, destroying rain forest for Palm Oil, destroying motor car engines, yet the original idea was to save carbon emissions, or at least be carbon neutral. Well, they sure got that agenda wrong too according to a new study:

From the “road to hell is paved with good intentions” department:

Biofuels not as ‘green’ as many think

Go back to basics when calculating the greenhouse impact and carbon neutrality of biofuels, researchers urge

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective, national-scale evaluation of the environmental effect of substituting petroleum fuels with biofuels in the US. America’s biofuel use to date has in fact led to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions, says lead author John DeCicco in Springer’s journal Climatic Change.

The use of liquid biofuels in the transport sector has expanded over the past decade in response to policies such as the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). These policies are based on the belief that biofuels are inherently carbon neutral, meaning that only production-related greenhouse gas emissions need to be tallied when comparing them to fossil fuels.

A lot more at the link (WUWT). The comments too, make interesting reading.

A snippet from the author, DeCicco: […]

DeCicco’s team evaluated the data up to 2013, using the Annual Basis Carbon (ABC) accounting method he previously developed. It takes a circumscribed look at the changes in carbon flows directly associated with a vehicle-fuel system, and does not treat biofuels as inherently carbon neutral.

Instead, the ABC method tallies carbon dioxide emissions on the basis of chemistry in the specific locations where they occur. The system takes into account motor fuel consumption, fuel processing operations and resource inputs, including the use of cropland for biofuel feedstocks. Unlike lifecycle analysis, ABC accounting reflects the stock-and-flow nature of the carbon cycle, recognizing that changes in the atmospheric stock depend on both inflows and outflows.

DeCicco’s team found that the gains in carbon dioxide uptake by feedstock, such as corn, were enough to offset biofuel-related biogenic emissions by only 37 percent, rather than 100 percent, during the period 2005 to 2013.

“This shows that biofuel use fell well short of being carbon neutral even before considering process emissions,” says DeCicco. […]

It’s doubtful there will be much change in the US, because, cronyism  :

EPA: The Ethanol Protection Agency

Maybe the initials “EPA” should stand for the Ethanol Protection Agency, as environmental protection seems just too costly and time consuming for the agency. The EPA recently admitted that it has not been in compliance with the 2007 law that requires the agency to study the environmental impact of the ethanol mandate and report its findings to Congress every three years. So far, envirofascist bureaucrats have only met the law’s requirements once in 2011. The EPA’s excuse is that it just doesn’t have enough funding or time and therefore has simply ignored the law.

According to the EPA’s inspector general, because the agency hasn’t been conducting the impact study, it hasn’t been able “to identify, consider, mitigate and make policymakers aware of any adverse impacts of renewable fuels.” The EPA now says it won’t have a fully completed study until at least 2024. Well, that’s good news if you’re a corn farmer, but not such good news for the environment or even other corn-dependent industries, as price of corn has increased.

Several recent independent environmental studies conclude that ethanol biofuels have had an overall negative effect on the environment from an increase of smog in cities to the amount of land, water and energy needed to produce ethanol when compared to that of gasoline. Combined with worse mileage and damage to small engines, ethanol has had the exact opposite effect of what it was touted to accomplish when it was initially mandated back in 2005. Yet there is no push by either Congress or the Obama administration to repeal or even question the ethanol mandate. And the agency tasked with protecting the environment seems too busy figuring out how to clean up its own environmental messes to care. Cronyism at its best.

(h/t greenie watch)

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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