In battle between fuel and food, food is losing worse than ever

Despite the backlash against ethanol in the U.S. and biodiesel in the E.U., global production of biofuels was up 17 percent in 2010. That's 27.7 billion gallons of liquid fuel for the year. (For reference, the U.S. uses 137 billion …


Panda poop could revolutionize biofuels

One down side of biofuels like ethanol is that they rely on easily processed crops that are also staple foods. The more farm space is given over to raising corn, soybeans, and sugar for fuels, the less is available for …


Ethanol is now a matter of national security

Two steps forward, one step back: Congress cuts two ethanol subsidies worth billions, but the White House redirects $510 million to power the military's ships and aircraft with corn-sourced biofuels.

Climate & Energy

Critical List: How to support Tim DeChristopher; white dudes think they're smarter than science

Want to support Tim DeChristopher? Go to Washington in August to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. "Consider this your call to action," said Peaceful Uprising, the group DeChristopher founded. BREAKING: Conservative white dudes (aka the Jim Inhofe Fan Club) are …


Critical List: $6 billion ethanol subsidy to end; Wyoming wolves screwed by Senate politics

The Senate is ending a $6 billion subsidy program for ethanol; anti-ethanol food and environmental groups say it's "not a perfect comprise" but that they're "encouraged" by the step. Carbon captured from coal plants can feed biofuel-producing algae. Which is …

Climate & Energy

Critical List: Global warming — it's happening; Exxon funds climate deniers

In case you hadn’t heard … the world is warming up. Exxon just can't quit climate deniers. The Supreme Court thinks that the EPA must regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act; now it will decide if it can regulate …


Why the Senate ethanol vote doesn't matter much

Even if the Senate's ethanol vote makes it through the White House, it won't stem the flow of corn from Midwest farms to distillers to gas tanks.


The Senate likes ethanol slightly less than it used to

For years, Washington has been really gung-ho about putting corn (America’s crop!) into cars (America’s bikes!), and has supported corn ethanol production with a suite of subsidies. But now senators are ready to say: “With food prices rising, we're not …


SciAm op-ed: Kill biofuels to solve the food crisis

With the Senate successfully passing an amendment to end the 45-cent-per-gallon ethanol subsidy for American refiners and the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol, I thought I'd point to this terrific op-ed in Scientific American on how to solve the food …