Biofuels Will Add to Heating Climate, Studies Say

Land likely to be used for production is already helping absorb carbon
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2008 8:21 PM CST
This aerial photo shows acacia logs waiting to be transported as natural forest is seen on the right, in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau province, on Sumatra island, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 2, 2007. Experts...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Biofuels could hurt Earth more than help it, two new studies conclude. Over 30 years, argues one, corn-based ethanol would spout twice the greenhouse gas of regular gasoline; the other notes environmental damage likely to be wreaked by chopping rainforests and other areas for production, the Washington Post reports. The findings question international focus on using biofuel to combat climate change.

“We can't get to a result, no matter how heroically we make assumptions on behalf of corn ethanol, where it will actually generate greenhouse-gas benefits,” one author said. But, argue biofuel workers and some congressmen, while today’s ethanol might not be a solution, the fuel’s efficiency will improve as technology does. “We can make better biofuels,” says one researcher.