E.U. committee vote signals backstep from biofuels
The European Union took another step back from biofuels late Monday, as the Parliament’s environment committee approved 36-0 a proposal to lower the E.U.’s original target for biofueled transportation. The committee’s proposal would have the E.U. source just 4 percent of transportation fuels from biomass by 2015, then do a major review before jumping to the current target of 10 percent by 2020. The measure now moves to the full Parliament. The committee is in an advisory role and the proposal holds little legislative weight on its own, but the vote signals a significant shying away from full-speed-ahead biofuel boosting, and puts pressure on the E.U. to revise its original target. Biofuels, which once enjoyed a reputation as a clean fuel source, have been seen more and more lately as a villain contributing to deforestation and high food prices.