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Take a Closer Look: Biofuels Can Support Environmental, Economic and Social Goals
Environmental Science & Technology (2014)
  • Bruce E. Dale, Michigan State University
  • James E. Anderson, Ford Motor Company
  • Robert C. Brown, Iowa State University
  • Steven Csonka, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative
  • Virginia H. Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Gary Herwick, Transportation Fuels Consulting
  • Randall D. Jackson, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
  • Nicholas Jordan, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Stephen Kaffka, University of California, Davis
  • Keith L. Kline, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Lee R. Lynd, Dartmouth College
  • Carolyn Malmstrom, Michigan State University
  • Rebecca G. Ong
  • Tom L. Richard, Pennsylvania State University
  • Caroline Taylor, Energy Biosciences Institute
  • Michael Q. Wang, Argonne National Laboratory
The U.S. Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) seven years ago. Since then, biofuels have gone from darling to scapegoat for many environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public. The reasons for this shift are complex and include concerns about environmental degradation, uncertainties about impact on food security, new access to fossil fuels, and overly optimistic timetables. As a result, many people have written off biofuels. However, numerous studies indicate that biofuels, if managed sustainably, can help solve pressing environmental, social, and economic problems (Figure 1). The scientific and policy communities should take a closer look by reviewing the key assumptions underlying opposition to biofuels and carefully consider the probable alternatives. Liquid fuels based on fossil raw materials are likely to come at increasing environmental cost. Sustainable futures require energy conservation, increased efficiency, and alternatives to fossil fuels, including biofuels.
Publication Date
June, 2014
Publisher Statement
© 2014 American Chemical Society.
Citation Information
Bruce E. Dale, James E. Anderson, Robert C. Brown, Steven Csonka, et al.. "Take a Closer Look: Biofuels Can Support Environmental, Economic and Social Goals" Environmental Science & Technology Vol. 48 Iss. 13 (2014) p. 7200 - 7203 ISSN: 0013-936X
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