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Title: Take a Closer Look:Biofuels Can Support Environmental, Economic and Social Goals

The US Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) seven years ago. Since then, biofuels have gone from darling to scapegoat for many environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public. The reasons for this shift are complex and include concerns about environmental degradation, uncertainties about impact on food security, new access to fossil fuels, and overly optimistic timetables. As a result, many people have written off biofuels. However, numerous studies indicate that biofuels, if managed sustainably, can help solve pressing environmental, social and economic problems (Figure 1). The scientific and policy communities should take a closer look by reviewing the key assumptions underlying opposition to biofuels and carefully consider the probable alternatives. Liquid fuels based on fossil raw materials are likely to come at increasing environmental cost. Sustainable futures require energy conservation, increased efficiency, and alternatives to fossil fuels, including biofuels.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [5] ;  [11] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14]
  1. Michigan State University, East Lansing
  2. Ford Motor Company
  3. Iowa State University
  4. Commerical Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)
  5. ORNL
  6. Transportation Fuels Consulting
  7. University of Wisconsin
  8. Office of Science, Department of Energy
  9. University of Minnesota
  10. University of California, Davis
  11. Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
  12. Pennsylvania State University
  13. Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), Berkeley, California
  14. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 13
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States