Editorial: Use of Advanced Biofuels Achieves Goal of Using Less Oil for Transportation Fuel
by Joanne Ivancic (Advanced Biofuels USA) In a recent editorial, What Keystone Won’t Do, the Washington Post mused about “the best way to insulate Americans from oil-price volatility and other drawbacks of oil use,” concluding that it “would be to use less oil.”
It continued with a list of “sensible policies to promote this long-range goal.” Including, “An economy-wide, anti-carbon policy, such as a carbon tax,” … “a higher gasoline tax, which could also fund transportation needs.” The editorial approved of “President Obama’s auto efficiency standards,” but had less enthusiasm for “direct subsidies for electric cars” finding them “extremely expensive for meager benefits.”
Nowhere did the editorial advocating using less oil suggest the use of biofuels. Apparently, Washington Post editors do not see the “contains up to 10% ethanol” stickers on regular gas pumps throughout the DC area; cannot calculate that already with biofuels we decrease our use of petroleum-based transportation fuel.
As we have pointed out for years, calls to end our addiction to oil focus on solar, wind and geothermal; none of which helps to end our use of oil. And over and over, those who call for decreased oil use fail to mention the one renewable product that actually can and does decrease the use of oil.
Why this blindness and deafness to a truly renewable energy solution? One possibility comes from the same editorial, if “America were to take the extraordinary step of removing itself from the world oil market entirely, (it) could lead to its own price spikes and ignite a trade war.”
And yet, if the links related to that statement are followed, a very different conclusion is discovered, “Importing less oil from abroad would help shrink the U.S. trade deficit. Dollars spent on oil would stay within the country rather than flee overseas. That’s not nothing. But according to the CBO, even a massive surge in production wouldn’t likely do very much to buffer the United States from the sorts of wild and harmful swings in the oil market that are becoming increasingly common.
The only real protection against oil volatility, the report concludes, is to become more fuel-efficient and ramp up alternatives to crude.”
Which is exactly what we are talking about at Advanced Biofuels USA, ramping up alternatives to crude. It is amazing to me how intelligent, respected writers and policy advocates state the solution in general terms, but fail to articulate the obvious specifics.
If, as the Washington Post editorial concludes, reducing consumption of oil has far more promise, then let them also advocate for systemic deployment of advanced biofuels to achieve that goal.