Although it was not explicitly stated, I get the impression that the author feels that renewability of the energy resource and reduction of our dependance on crude oil are not in and of themselves worthy enough objectives. Especially if production of the crops used to make biofuels means cultivating more land. A position with which I most strenuously DISAGREE
Like they say.... you just can't please some people.....
The palm oil issue is a real problem in my opinion, unless it's grown on American soil without tearing down rainforests to grow it. It can be grown in some southern states, from what I understand, which is fine.
But the bulk of what's brought into this country, and the Imperium BD plants in Washington State (a specific thorn in my side), is imported from Malasyia, or other countries. That doesn't get us away from a foreign oil souce...vegetable or not. It's the cheapest veg oil, so they import it and try to look like they are benefiting US farmers...NOT!!!
I won't buy foreign palm oil BD, if I know that's where it comes from, so I'm all for labelling, at least for the souce of the oil. I would like to know where my BD is coming from.
As for the other enviromental cost issues, those are harder to deal with. But, I look at it this way...biofuels are not the ultimate best souce for our fuel. But, they are the better solution for the time being as we move to other better sources. We just don't have many other options right now. What's so nice about BD is it can replace petro diesel in nearly all currently existing diesel engines right now without any changes. So nice!!
I have a question to those producing their own BD...do you use BD as your heat source in processing?? You could, couldn't you?? The ethanol plants could use ethanol for heat...couldn't they??
The food or fuel issue is also a little tough to understand. There aren't a lot of crops you can eliminate from the production picture. Food and fiber crops are absolutely necessary. Now...tobacco...that's a distructive crop in my opinion, at least to those using it and even those not. The only people who benefit from tobacco are the farmers, processors and sellers. I'd love to see tobacco fields replaced with oil crops for BD.
You put it a lot nicer than I would but agree with you 100%.
Palms grow well in the desert Southwest and there is lots of empty space there.
We have to move away from production that impacts food supplies, that means cultivating new land and planting crops that are better oil seed producer than corn.
Replacing tobacco crops with oil seed is a plus all the way around. The Govt should imediately eliminate tobacco subsidies and replace them with subsidies/incentives to switch to oil seed production.