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Article
The Role of Biotechnology in a Sustainable Biofuel Future
AgBioForum (2009)
  • Steven E Sexton, University of California - Berkeley
  • David Zilberman, University of California - Berkeley
  • Gal Hochman, University of California - Berkeley
  • Deepak Rajagopal, University of California - Berkeley
Abstract

Biofuel production has increased dramatically since 2000, impacting markets for food and fuel. This article uses a partial equilibrium model to simulate biofuel impacts. We find that US biofuel production imposes costs on food consumers but benefits gasoline consumers by reducing gas prices. Current biofuels, therefore, create a trade-off between food and fuel. The demand for agriculture to provide food and fuel to a growing world population creates an imperative for improved agricultural productivity. Biotechnology and transgenic crops can be powerful drivers of productivity growth, but it demands increased investment and reduced regulation. We argue that biotechnology is essential to reduce land-use changes associated with rising biofuel demand that not only reduce biodiversity, but also release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Keywords
  • biotechnology,
  • climate change,
  • ethanol,
  • biofuel,
  • greenhouse gas emissions,
  • agricultural productivity,
  • transgenic crops
Publication Date
2009
Citation Information
Steven E Sexton, David Zilberman, Gal Hochman and Deepak Rajagopal. "The Role of Biotechnology in a Sustainable Biofuel Future" AgBioForum Vol. 12 Iss. 1 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sexton/19/