UT Study Attempts To Smear Biofuels

Knoxville New Sentinel

Oct 23, 2015

By Bob Dinneen

The petroleum-funded study by the University of Tennessee is yet another attempt by the oil industry to spread misinformation about the positive role that biofuels like ethanol have on our nation's environment, economy and energy security ("Use of corn-based fuels detrimental to environment, economy").

Lifecycle analyses by the U.S. Department of Energy and others, including the University of Illinois, the International Energy Agency and Lifecycle Associates, have shown that, since the final Renewable Fuel Standard rule was implemented, grain ethanol produced today reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to fossil fuels - even when hypothetical land-use emissions are taken into account. Ethanol production last year reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40 million metric tons, which represents the equivalent of removing 8.4 million cars from the road.

It was not too long ago that the same authors of the UT study called bioenergy a "win-win-win scenario for energy security, agriculture and rural economic development." In fact, in 2006, these authors produced a lengthy study that concluded that the United States could eventually produce 60 billion gallons of ethanol per year sustainably, yielding huge benefits to the nation's economy and economic security. The authors wrote: "Not only can U.S. agriculture meet the nation's food and feed demand, but it has sufficient resources to produce significant quantities of biofuels."

Apparently, receiving funding from Smarter Fuel Future, an oil industry-led coalition composed of RFS oppononets, has caused the authors to change their minds about the positive impact biofuels are having and will continue to have on our nation's environment, economy and energy security.

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