As government steps in to dictate energy choices – rather than markets – the inevitable jockeying for the spoils has begun among various special interest players.
The corn lobby has been an initial winner with federal ethanol mandates, but now the Green lobby is pushing back. The Heartland Institute reports that:
“Environmentalists (in Bali) are warning against expanding the production of biofuels, noting the proposed solution to global warming is actually causing more harm than it is designed to alleviate. Experts report biodiesel production, in particular, is causing the destruction of virgin rainforests and their rich biodiversity, as well as a sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Opponents of biofuels read like a Who’s Who of environmental activist groups. The Worldwatch Institute, World Conservation Union, and the global charity Oxfam warn that by directing food staples to the production of transport fuels, biofuels policy is leading to the starvation and further impoverishment of the world’s poor.”
Greens, of course, are energy nihilists, and there is nary an environmental group somewhere that isn’t protesting every type of energy source.
For example, the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal, but Senate greens (led by Nancy Pelosi) have banned consideration of coal-to-oil technology (pushed by Barack Obama) to replace oil imports from the energy bill because they don’t like coal’s carbon content. Nuclear? Too dangerous, despite the fact that U.S. states with nuke plants have low CO2 emissions. Wind? Shreds migratory bird populations.
And then there’s solar. According to a study by Cornell’s David Pimentel, a full 20 percent of U.S. land areas (the equivalent to all cropland in America today) would have to be paved over with solar cells to meet just 50 percent of U.S. energy demand. That is the equivalent to 11 states.
Sounds like sprawl to me.