EPA abandons science yet again

“Now the Obama administration has allowed vastly more money to be poured down the gullet of this insatiable creature, with the EPA making an official finding that corn-based ethanol and biodiesel made using other stocks produce vastly less greenhouse gas emissions displacing conventional gasoline or diesel fuel.

That’s news to some outside researchers, who find quite the opposite; that these fuels require far more energy (carbon-based energy) to produce than they create.

For example, Cornell agricultural ecologist David Pimental and colleagues in a paper last year concluded that no crop produced more fuel than the energy used to grow it and convert it to ethanol or biodiesel. They found a negative energy return of 46 percent for corn ethanol, 50 percent for switchgrass, 63 percent for soybean biodiesel and 58 percent for rapeseed. Even the most promising palm oil production results in a minus 8 percent net energy return.”  Michael Fumento on the EPA finding

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2 Responses to “EPA abandons science yet again”

  1. Al Fin Says:

    Fumento needs to be very careful not to emulate people such as Joe Romm and Al Gore when he selectively quotes from scientific studies that have been repeatedly contradicted.

    Climate scientists have ridden their bandwagon to fame, lucrative grants, and a Nobel Prize. Pimental is riding his hobby horse for all it is worth, similar to the HIV denier from Berkeley who has built an entire industry around his pet project.

    Biofuels actually do produce more energy than is used to produce them — else a lot more ethanol plants would have gone out of business than have done. The margins are extremely tight, and it is not energy profits that keeps them in business. It is a combination of profits from byproducts (DDGs etc) plus subsidies. But the profit margin from energy production is getting marginally larger every year.

    These state of the art plants do not give Pimental and other academics the key to their profits. It is a competitive business — so Pimental is necessarily at least 5 years behind the curve, probably 10.

    Take away the subsidies and some of them stay in business, and a lot of them don’t. As a libertarian, I believe in letting a business sink or swim based upon its profitability — as long as all are treated equally, which is never the case in a quasi-fascist welfare state.

  2. jblethen Says:

    How many stay in business if subsidies taken away and laws mandating use of biofuels taken away?

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