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Ethanol & GHGs

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Biofuels have been tarred this week following some research in Science suggesting GHGs may be increased under some scenarios involving expanding use of biofuels.

In fact, our own local "weakest link" columnist got a column on MSNBC in which she continues her 100% always wrong streak.

Not that I'm coming back after a long posting hiatus to take cheap shots at people I disagree with. But I hate this sensationalist crap. Look, I'm not an expert on biofuels - and what I do know makes me think we need to rapidly slow the amount of driving we do rather than find a new fuel. But to claim that biofuels are increasing greenhouse gases today is absurd.

We should study just how effective they are though. So, kudos to those who are examining the true effects of expanding biofuel production and a giant sigh at those who trumpet some half-baked claims because it runs counter to the prevailing wisdom.

Disclosure: I work for the folks who put out this report debunking the claims made by some over-reaching researchers and the press on GHGs and ethanol. However, I don't do any energy work for them. I'm a tech-telecom geek.

From what I can tell, there are some environmentally destructive practices that are ultimately counterproductive when it comes to biofuels. However, most of what I have heard has been to produce biodiesel - which is why we need smart legislation that looks at the GHG emissions associated with each fuel and the manner in which it is produced. Coal-fired ethanol is right stupid. Planting non-native trees to produce biodiesel will probably bite us in the long run. Let's be smart folks, but let's be rigorous too.