Is the bio-fuels policy in the US resulting in soaring global food prices, and record high costs in the food industry and should it be changed?
Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the government mandated the production of nine billion gallons of bio-fuel (in the form of corn ethanol) in 2008 to reach 15 billion gallons by 2015. It is argued that these mandates, along with tax incentives, are out of proportion and unsustainable.
Whereas first-generation bio-fuels are made from crops such as corn, rapeseed and sugar cane, cellulosic ethanol can be made from waste biomass such as sugarcane waste, bacteria, garbage, switch grass and wood chips. In essence, this means that second-generation bio-fuels are cheaper to produce, have less of an impact on the environment and are therefore more politically acceptable.
The problem is that there are no incentives, tax breaks or mandates for the study and production of cellulosic ethanol. Technology to develop cellulosic ethanol that uses biomass such as grass instead of grain is still in its infancy, but seen by some as a natural evolution to a more sustainable renewable fuel. We need bio-fuels that don’t jeopardize our food production and deplete our land resources.
Is there any legislation in the new Farm Bill to encourage cellulosic ethanol? How can we educate others and influence our politicians to pass legislation supporting the study of cellulosic ethanol? We need to get active because Africa is becoming a bio-fuel battleground as western companies are pushing to acquire vast stretches of African land to meet the world’s bio-fuel needs.
…Respectfully submitted by Luis Garcia – email@example.com