Monday, May 18, 2009

US- Activists claim RFS exaggerates bio-fuels' benefits

Activists say EPA's recently proposed renewable fuels standard (RFS-2) exaggerates bio-fuels' greenhouse gas (GHG) lifecycle benefits by including key factors -- such as higher crop yields or greater facility efficiency -- that may occur by 2022, rather than calculating actual emissions of today's bio-fuels production process, Inside EPA Weekly Report reports.

Environmentalists say this approach could overestimate the climate benefits of today's bio-fuels by assuming higher yields and greater facility efficiency that is actually being achieved today. If EPA had not used these projections, it is possible that some fuels would not meet the GHG reductions mandated by the RFS, the environmentalist says.

In addition, environmentalists are also concerned about the inclusion of a so-called discount rate that discounts the benefits of taking action to reduce GHG emissions now by considering the likely decreased cost of taking action later.

Activists are likely to urge EPA to use actual emission data in its final GHG lifecycle analysis for bio-fuels, the source says. Bio-diesel producer World Energy Alternatives announced late today it has sold its only operating bio-diesel plant, an 18-mln gal/yr facility in Lakeland, Florida, Biodiesel Magazine reports. The sale to Orlando-based Clean Fuel Lakeland LLC was completed on April 15, World Energy noted. "This move is an important step in World Energy's plan to reposition itself to adjust to the changing U.S. bio-fuels landscape," said World Energy President and CEO.

New Generation Bio-fuels Holdings Inc announced that its renewable fuels will be used within the asphalt industry sub-segment, ADP News reports. The company has secured a fuel sales deal with Baltimore-based asbestos-free asphalt and related products manufacturer Seabord Asphalt Products. The value and other terms of the deal were not revealed. New Generation Bio-fuels expects to work with its contractor in full capacity, the company's CEO said commenting on the deal.

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago have published results of a well-to-wheels (WTW) lifecycle analysis of petroleum energy use and GHG emissions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles employing gasoline, diesel, E85 and hydrogen (fuel cell) fuels, Greencarcongress reports. PHEVs fueled by E85 offered a 70-90% reduction in petroleum energy use and a 40-80% reduction in GHG emissions. PHEVs equipped with hydrogen fuel cells offered a more than 90% reduction in petroleum energy. (15 May 2009)

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