Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"EU starting to see sense on biofuels" ActionAid

“This is big news as it’s the first time that the EU has explicitly acknowledged that using food as fuel can cause problems.
We’re glad that the EU has finally recognised what we have been pointing out for years – that diverting agricultural resources from producing food to produce fuel will inevitably lead to food insecurity and food price volatility.
But we’re concerned that including 5% of biofuels in European transport fuel is still too high.
We’ve already seen land grabs for biofuels in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania which have involved European companies, and we’ve taken these cases to European decision-makers.
But it’s not just a European problem. We’ve also highlighted problems with bio-ethanol production in the US driving up global corn prices and how even the champion of biofuels producers – Brazil – is violating people’s rights in their quest to profit from increased global biofuels demand.”

"The Hunger Grains" Oxfam International

"This paper shows how concerns about land and food rights around the world, both major campaigning priorities for Oxfam, are closely linked to EU biofuel mandates."

"It is completely unacceptable that we are burning food in our petrol tanks while poor families go hungry and millions are being pushed off their land. EU governments have it within their power to make a difference to the lives of millions of hungry people. It’s time to scrap EU biofuel mandates."


Monday, September 17, 2012



"Renewable Fuel Standard, Ethanol Use and Corn Prices" Heritage Foundation

"Ethanol production in the U.S. consumes a significant quantity of corn and has a large impact on corn prices. We believe that ethanol production increases the world corn price by up to 68 percent. Since some corn would likely go to ethanol production with or without a federal mandate, the mandate’s price impact is likely less than 68 percent. One estimate puts the price impact as low as 8 percent.
However, the direction of the impact is clear: The ethanol mandate increases corn prices and the prices of food and products that use corn as an input. Since the impact of the mandate is bad in any case, it is not redeemed by arguing that the bad impact might be a small bad impact.
Waiving the mandate is a good idea. Eliminating it is a better one."


Sunday, September 16, 2012

"World Hunger, the Problem Left Behind" New York Times

"... the United States government should stop subsidizing its own corn-based biofuels, mainly ethanol. Today, about 40 percent of America’s field corn goes into biofuels, thanks to a subsidy and regulatory policy dating from 2005. With virtual unanimity, experts condemn these subsidies as driving up food prices, damaging land use and costing the taxpayers money. Once the energy costs of producing the biofuels are taken into account, it doesn’t even appear that this policy helps slow climate change. It has become a form of crony capitalism, at great global expense. "


Friday, September 14, 2012

"Obama Should Waive the Ethanol Mandate" On Energy (usnews.com)

"We hoped it would be possible for President Obama to reject this harmful policy. After all, the renewable fuels standard was passed by the Bush administration, and it is opposed by environmental and antipoverty groups—groups that are usually his allies. As the international antipoverty group ActionAid USA said, "It is time to rethink ethanol mandates that ensure that cars eat before people." 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"France seeks pause on biofuels competing with food" CNBC

" France will call for a pause in the development of biofuels competing with food at both international and European level in a bid to avoid crisis prompted by surging grain prices.

"(France) will push for a pause in the development of biofuels competing with food," a government spokeswoman said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Biofuels are made mostly of grains and oilseeds whose prices have reached record highs this year due to droughts in the U.S. Midwest and the Black Sea region, prompting global alarm over the potential for a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007/08."

Reuters "Exclusive: EU to limit use of crop-based biofuels - draft law"

 "The European Union will impose a limit on the use of crop-based biofuels over fears they are less climate-friendly than initially thought and compete with food production, draft EU legislation seen by Reuters showed."


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to comment to the EPA on request for an ethanol mandate waiver...


Ethanol Mandate Waiver: Decks Stacked Against Petitioners

"In the EPA’s Request for Comment on the 2012 waiver petitions, the agency indicates it will use the same “analytical approach” and “legal interpretation” on the basis of which Johnson denied Perry’s request in 2008. This means the regulatory decks are stacked against the petitioners. As the EPA reads the statute, CAA Section 211(o)(7) establishes a burden of proof that is nearly impossible for petitioners to meet. No matter how high corn prices get, or how serious the associated economic harm, the EPA will have ready-made excuses not to waive the corn-ethanol blending requirements."