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ANSWERED on Fri 1 Aug 2008 - 7:51 pm UTC by David Sarokin

Question: Biofuels have no effect on greenhouse gases

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 1 Aug 2008 10:17 UTCFri 1 Aug 2008 - 10:17 am UTC 

I would like 3 authoritative sources that say biofuels are not causing an increase in greenhouse gases compared to conventional fuels e.g. oil.  Include some concrete numbers as evidence.


David Sarokin 


 1 Aug 2008 19:51 UTCFri 1 Aug 2008 - 7:51 pm UTC 

Here you are:
"...Compared with the life cycle of gasoline and diesel, ethanol and biodiesel from corn rotations reduced GHG emissions by [about] 40%"
Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels
"...Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more...Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel."

NRDC advocates biofuels, and has several reports:
The Growing Solution to Energy Dependence and Global Warming
"Biofuels -- especially ethanol made from biomass such as switchgrass -- can make a tremendous contribution to ending our dependence on oil, and if produced and used responsibly can also be a key component of a strategy to beat back global warming."
Putting Biofuels on the Right Track: Renewable Fuels Standard Safeguards Protect Wildlife and the Environment (pdf)
Getting Biofuels Right: Eight Steps for Reaping Real Environmental Benefits from Biofuels
Ethanol: Energy Well Spent


Let me know if there's anything more you need on this.





 6 Aug 2008 19:21 UTCWed 6 Aug 2008 - 7:21 pm UTC 

I think that's a great answer.

I'm not sure what you're using your information for, but in his first source entitled, "LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF NET GREENHOUSE-GAS FLUX FOR BIOENERGY CROPPING SYSTEMS" (Location:, there is an excellent quote that you may wish to use/consider. "Bioenergy cropping systems could help offset greenhouse gas emissions, but quantifying that offset is complex."




 6 Aug 2008 23:37 UTCWed 6 Aug 2008 - 11:37 pm UTC 

"Bioenergy cropping systems could help offset greenhouse gas emissions, but
quantifying that offset is complex."

That really sounds good.  A politician could be proud to make such a statement  - adapted fit many different topics -  since it cannot be wrong.

"could help offset": 
Saying "could offset" does not say "would offset", but allows the reader to infer "would offset" and suggests a complete offset.

Saying "could help offset" weakens the suggestion; including "help" says this could only be part of the offset, but "help" is a nice, positive sounding word: "this is a good thing"; "we should always help."

"but quantifying... is complex":
That says:  we don't have any numbers yet; we don't really know.

But the statement sounds so positive: 
"If you want to believe bioenergy is the solution, I am telling you it could be.  But if someone disproves me by quantifying the effects, I warned you that it's a complex matter and that the facts weren't available when I said that."




 13 Aug 2008 17:39 UTCWed 13 Aug 2008 - 5:39 pm UTC 


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