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Nwg Foodvfuel And The Rfs

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Nwg Foodvfuel And The Rfs

  1. Food, Fuel, Global Warming, and the RFS Nathanael Greene Director of Renewable Energy Policy September 10, 2008
  2. Since Transportation is One-Third of Problem, It Must be Part of Solution 2007 US Greenhouse Gas Inventory by Sector Source: EIA, Annual Energy Outlook 2007
  3. 2050 80% Climate Stabilization Target: Four Key Strategies Cars and Light Trucks Vehicle Efficiency (78 mpg by 2050 ) Reduced Driving (16% below forecast) Clean Electricity (Plug-in Hybrids) Advanced Biofuels (58B gallons of etoh) 1 2 3 4 Source: NRDC analysis
  4. RFS Environmental Details <ul><li>Large Volume Increase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly 5-fold increase in biofuels mandate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority of increase is “advanced” biofuels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Groundbreaking GHG Provisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established performance standards for biofuels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislative definition includes “indirect” emissions in lifecycle analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compared to petroleum fuels at least: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20% reduction from all new biofuels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>50% from all advanced biofuels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>60% reduction from cellulosic biofuels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Foundational Land/Wildlife Safeguards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong protections for public forests, native grasslands, natural forests, key wildlife habitat </li></ul></ul>
  5. Traditional Biofuels Lifecycle GHG Analysis Growing feedstock Refining Driving <ul><li>Corn ethanol industry 20% better than gasoline, efficient new plant 35-45% better </li></ul><ul><li>Cellulosic 70-95% better than gasoline </li></ul><ul><li>GREET model is gold standard </li></ul>
  6. Biofuels Plus Direct Land-use Change Growing feedstock Refining Driving Clearing new land for feedstock
  7. Biofuels Plus Indirect Land-use Change Growing feedstock Refining Driving Clearing new land for feedstock Market dynamics
  8. Searchinger et al. in Science Growing feedstock Refining Driving Clearing new land for feedstock Market dynamics
  9. Same dynamic that drives GHG emissions drives higher food/feed/fiber prices Increased demand for biomass and arable land for biofuels <ul><li>Higher prices for food/feed/fiber and for land </li></ul><ul><li>how long depends on how fast demand grows vs how fast yields increase </li></ul>Increased rate of conversion of natural ecosystem (high carbon & high biodiversity) to managed lands to capture higher land and commodity prices
  10. Lifecycle GHG standards + renewable biomass safeguards
  11. States can help transition to advanced biofuels <ul><li>CA (and MA) is developing “low-carbon fuel standard” (LCFS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LCFS requires oil companies to lower average GHG intensity (lbs/Btu of fuel) by a given % over a given period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LCFS is a technology neutral, performance based policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biofuels will play a major role in compliance but electricity, natural gas, oil refinery improvements can all contribute </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We still need to define and measure lifecycle GHG emissions right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LCFS also protects against high carbon fuels (tar sands, oil shale, liquid coal) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New York has supported 2 pilot cellulosic plants </li></ul><ul><li>MA, PA, and other states providing tax and other incentives specific to “cellulosic” and/or “low-carbon” fuels </li></ul>
  12. Food price/GHG impacts <ul><li>Biofuels have an impact on food prices </li></ul><ul><li>There is debate about how large the impact is </li></ul><ul><li>We should strive to minimize even a small impact on food prices while also striving to stop global warming and achieve greater energy security </li></ul><ul><li>To do this our biofuels policies should be designed to quickly remove biofuels from the food price equation to the greatest extent possible </li></ul><ul><li>The best way to do this is to require them to be as low carbon as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Our current RFS does this by setting minimum standards and the LCFS does this by encouraging the best performance </li></ul>

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