By Hank Campbell – Science 2.0
When Al Gore was Vice-President in 1994, he forced the U.S. EPA to mandate ethanol in gasoline by breaking the Senate tie in favor of environmentalists who had been pushing ethanol as ‘sustainable biofuel’ for decades. His vote forced gasoline manufacturers to include it despite science concerns it would drive up food prices and increase pollution. While biofuels were and are a viable field of study, the concern was that dumping money into corporate subsidies was going to hold progress back.(1)
In the real world, the environmentalists were just pushing, as I have written previously, their ‘anything but…’ agenda, to undermine whatever they are raising money being against during any given campaign. They said ethanol was awesome and it would replace evil nuclear and coal (they got nuclear killed that year also) until it was implemented, and then it was bad. They did the same with natural gas, endorsing it until it overtook coal.(2)
But once it’s done, it is harder to undo, no matter how bad things might get. So environmentalists turned on ethanol but the Obama administration converted over 5 million acres of conservation land to corn production anyway.(3) And ethanol is still with us, as are the concerns about its impact on the environment.
The problem is no different for the new biofuel darling of the environmental movement, wood pellets.