Forcing The Market

Ted Gayer righteously and rightly attacks biofuels:

Supporters of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) also claimed that it will reduce greenhouse gases. Both Speaker Pelosi and then-President Bush said the bill will help reverse global warming. Indeed, much of the early enthusiasm for biofuels was based on the belief that their use would reduce greenhouse gases. It is true that burning biofuels results in less tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases relative to burning petroleum. Yet this ignores the increase in emissions that results from the production of biofuels, especially the land use changes as farmers convert forest and grassland into cropland for biofuel production. An article published in Science magazine in 2008 found that “corn-based ethanol nearly doubles greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years.” Another article in Science concluded that crop-based biofuels create a “biofuel carbon debt of 17 to 420 times more carbon dioxide than the greenhouse gas reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels.”