California Cripples The Ethanol Industry

Yesterday, California approved a low-carbon fuel standard, which all but obliterates the already hobbled ethanol industry and sets the state up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on finding more biofuels.

From the press release issued by the California Air Resources Board, the state plans on factoring in carbon intensity to all its biofuels from here on in. That means that it will attempt to total up the emissions that are gathered along the way, as well as the adverse affects of creating certain fuels. So, if you need to chop down a forest to grow your corn for corn-based ethanol, that’s a strike against you.

The ethanol industry is already howling, saying that that this only applys to them, not fossil fuel makers, therefore it is unfair. Ethanol mouthpiece, Wesley Clark says it will “cripple the ethanol industry.”

Perhaps to make amends to those that are worried about reliance on foreign oil, California plans on throwing more money at the issue:

Seeking to enhance private sector and federal investment into alternative fuel production and distribution, California is also providing funding to assist in the early development and deployment of the most promising low-carbon fuels. The Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, AB 118 (Nunez, 2007), managed by the California Energy Commission, will provide approximately $120 million dollars per year over seven years to deploy the cleanest fuels and vehicles.

Regulators expect the new generation of fuels to come from the development of technology that uses algae, wood, agricultural waste such as straw, common invasive weeds such as switchgrass, and even from municipal solid waste.


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