renewable fuel standards

State and federal subsidies to biofuels: magnitude and options for redirection

Hundreds of government subsidies have fuelled the growth of ethanol and biodiesel in the USA, worth half or more their retail price. Cumulative costs under some mandate proposals exceed $1 trillion by 2030. Even using favourable assumptions, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are far more expensive than other options: more than $100/mt CO2e even for cellulosic ethanol and nearly $300/mt CO2e for corn-based fuel. Despite rising concerns, environmental screens in existing subsidy policies remain weak or non-existent.

The politics of ethanol outshine its costs

.."Boosting ethanol production is the political equivalent of motherhood and apple pie these days. Politicians on both sides of the aisle as well as presidential candidates eager to do well in Iowa, the nation's No. 1 ethanol-producing state, are behind the measure, unglamorously named the "Renewable Fuels Standard." The RFS, part of the energy bill in the Senate, is so popular that it may be enough to ram through energy legislation this year, despite bitter disagreements over other parts of the bills...