Biofuels – Equalling Libya’s Oil Output

Some interesting figures that are worth being noted. Biofuel production now consumes 40% of the US corn harvest. In terms of produced quantity, biofuels account for more fuel than the oil production of Libya. Biofuels become price competitive if oil costs more than 70 US$ / barrel – it has frequently topped 100 US$ in the last couple of years.

ON-green-policy. Biofuels are questionable in terms of carbon saving efficiency and also in terms of competing with food production. While the US, where 50% of the world’s biofuels are produced don’t go hungry, the recent boom in Biofuels still influences world food prices with repercussions not only in Africa but also in Latin America and in the Middle East. Some cynics may say, that this not necessarily a bad thing, since angry and hungry people are more likely to topple their authoritarian leaders. However, this argument does not account for the fact that angry people are also more likely to radicalise themselves and look for easy explanations and solutions. And guess what, they most probably don’t become radical proponents of liberal market democracy but rather turn more conservative and embrace radical religious perspectives. So biofuels from corn not only don’t really make a big difference in terms of carbon saving but also tend to destabilise whole countries and regions in a way that certainly does not suit the west’s interests. It is thus a fair question to ask, whether subsidising and even legally requiring adding biofuels to gasoline by western countries is such a smart policy.

Source: The Guardian

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