Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Biofuel Craze" "Corn and soy wiping out America’s grasslands at fastest pace since the 1930s" Washington Post

"It’s a big transformation in the heart of the country: The authors conclude that the rates of grassland loss are “comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia, and Indonesia.” And those changes are already having plenty of impacts."

Map showing the percentage of grasslands that were converted into corn or soybean fields between 2006 and 2011.

"A new study by Christopher Wright and Michael Wimberly of South Dakota State University finds that U.S. farmers converted more than 1.3 million acres of grassland into corn and soybean fields between 2006 and 2011, a period of soaring crop prices and biofuel mandates."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bell & Evans on biofuel plants in Pennsylvania

"In my opinion, the Commonwealth is about to support their second biggest mistake in just a few
years -- the Perdue Hexane Extraction Soybean Processing Plant in Lancaster County. The first was
the Ethanol plant in Clearfield County that went bankrupt."

Friday, February 8, 2013

"EPA's Ethanol Mandates Are Costing Consumers" U.S. News and World Report

"It is easy to see why the refiners were frustrated with the EPA's projections. In 2010, EPA projected that 5,000,000 gallons of ethanol would be produced, but not a drop was sold. In 2011, the EPA ignored the lack production.

In 2012, after two years of zero cellulosic ethanol production, the EPA's projection didn't return to reality, but further increased."

"Ethanol Mandate Leads to Violence, Social Unrest" The Heritage Foundation

"Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam elaborated upon earlier research done by NECSI demonstrating a link between global food price increases associated with the corn-to-ethanol conversion and violence in the Middle East and North Africa known as the “Arab Spring” causing “unrest and upheaval.”

“Ethanol is corn. Corn is food. When you’re pulling into the gas station and you’re filling your tank of gas, 10 percent of what you’re putting into the tank is food. It could be eaten by people instead,” said Bar-Yam.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"The Global Farmland Rush" New York Times

"...a Swiss company promised local farmers 2,000 new jobs when it acquired a 50-year lease to grow biofuel crops on 154 square miles in Makeni, Sierra Leone; in the first three years, it produced only 50."

"Time to Reform Environmentally Damaging Corn Ethanol Mandate" EWG

CONTACT: Sara Sciammacco,, 202-667-6982

Washington, D.C. – Environmental Working Group (EWG) joined a diverse group of stakeholders today to call on Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) because of its negative impact on the environment, farmers and taxpayers. The RFS requires refiners to blend 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels (i.e. corn ethanol) into the U.S. fuel supply by 2015.

EWG Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber released the following statement:

“Corn ethanol has not only been a disaster for consumers, most farmers and taxpayers; it’s also been a disaster for the environment. In fact, it’s worse for the environment than Canadian tar sands.

“By dramatically increasing the price of corn, the corn ethanol mandate has, in just the last four years, contributed to the conversion of 23 million acres of wetland and grassland – an area the size of Indiana – to cropland. Thanks to the mandate, we have lost more wetlands and grasslands in the last four years than in the previous 40.

“By encouraging farmers to plow up wetlands and grasslands, the corn ethanol mandate is causing more carbon to be released into the atmosphere, causing more fertilizers and pesticides to wash off farm fields and destroying more habitat that supports wildlife – and millions of jobs. What’s more, burning more and more corn ethanol in gasoline releases more benzene, a known carcinogen, and other toxic air pollutants that are linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments.”