Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Brits Questioning Biofuels, Favoring Oil??

Stories like the one below prove just how detrimental the "environmentalist" movement can be to the environment. Biofuels may have their problems, but they are far superior to oil for both the environment and for the geo-political security of the world. If there are problems, why not put the focus on making biofuels more sustainable, more compatible with food needs rather than just accepting oil as the new "low carbon fuel"??


Financial Times

Call to delay biofuels obligation

By Jean Eaglesham

Published: March 25 2008 01:04 | Last updated: March 25 2008 01:04

Ministers came under pressure on Monday to delay a move to force motorists to use biofuels, after the government’s top environment scientist warned that the supposedly green initiative could prove counter-productive.

Robert Watson, chief scientist at the Department for the Environment, on Monday called on ministers to postpone the introduction of the obligation, proposed for April 1, until a government-commissioned review of biofuels’ environmental sustainability had been completed.

The renewable transport fuels obligation will require at least 2.5 per cent of fuel at the pumps to consist of biofuels. Such biofuels – principally ethanol and diesel made from plants – have been promoted by policymakers in the US and Europe as a green alternative to fossil fuels.

Some scientists argue that the carbon benefits of burning biofuels may be outweighed by the environmental factors involved in their production, as well as the impact on food prices.

“It would obviously be totally insane if we had a policy to try and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of biofuels that’s actually leading to an increase in the greenhouse gases from biofuels,” Prof Watson told the BBC.

His call for a moratorium was reinforced on Monday by a coalition of leading environmental and development groups, which wrote a joint letter to Ruth Kelly, transport secretary, warning that the obligation risked doing more harm than good.

Greenpeace argued that it would be “incredibly reckless” to press ahead with the policy without knowing its full impact on climate change. Friends of the Earth warned of the “potentially catastrophic impacts on people and the environment” of western countries setting volume targets for biofuel production.

The Liberal Democrats also backed calls for more analysis of the impact of biofuels. Norman Baker, Lib Dem transport spokesman, said Prof Watson was “right to raise the warning flag”.

The Department for Transport defended the new requirement while stressing that the government was reviewing the wider impacts of production.

“Biofuels have the potential to help reduce the impact of transport on the environment but we have always been clear about the need to ensure that they are sustainable,” an official said.

“The [obligation] has at its heart a detailed sustainability reporting mechanism – going further than any other country – which will create a strong incentive for transport fuel suppliers to source sustainable biofuels.”

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