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California ARB to Hold Public Workshop on Formation of Expert Group to Work on Land Use and Indirect Effect Analysis for LCFS

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has scheduled a public workshop on 20 January 2010 in Sacramento to discuss the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Among the items to be discussed, staff intends to present information on the formation of an expert workgroup to assist in refining and improving the land use and indirect effect analysis of transportation fuels regulated under the LCFS.

The LCFS regulation was approved by the Board at the 23 April 2009 Board hearing. (Earlier post.) At that hearing, the Board also adopted Resolution 09-31 directing staff to do additional work for the implementation of the LCFS. This meeting is scheduled to provide updates on the status of the follow up items in the resolution.

The LCFS calls for at least a 10% reduction from 2006 levels in the carbon intensity (measured in gCO2e/MJ) of California’s transportation fuels by 2020. The regulation also levies the calculation of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) effects against biofuels, against the strong opposition of the biofuels industry.

ARB agreed to continue its study of indirect effects, including indirect land use change as well as the indirect effects of all other transportation fuels.



One of the most significant and disturbing issues of my life has been irresponsible development --- the ripple effects of which are profound. What is sad is how all the environmental groups couldn't care less about urban blight and especially doing something about it, ie. the aggressive re-establishment of urban greenspaces. PETA, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Foundation, Trust for Public Land --- are all worthless in this regard; they care about development on the front end which is fine and dandy, but are complete deadbeats on remediation and restoration of urban blight - which is shameful.


From what I've seen, Sierra Club certainly cares about urban blight. Furthermore, the two really go together. If you stop development of unused space, assuming the development continues somewhere, then blighted urban spaces will get filled in. Certainly in Philly we are seeing that, or at least we were until the recent downturn.

Aureon Kwolek

C-ARB Way Off on Environmental Impact of Ethanol vs Gasoline

C-ARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a mess. You can throw their version of indirect land use change in the trash. It’s Junk Science – Based on false assumptions. Not Fact. The EPA has already backpedalled on this. Administrator Lisa Jackson recently released a public statement, saying that there are “serious uncertainties” regarding the use of indirect land use change. She openly admitted that the EPA erroneously used the unproven theory for preliminary RFS-2 rules – Rules that would have to be re-done. C-ARB also used the unproven theory to falsely claim that corn ethanol displaces other crops.

That is a false assumption. The number of acres planted in corn in the U.S. basically hasn’t changed in 60 years. In fact, our 2009 corn crop was 3 million acres smaller, but the corn yield was 10% higher per acre. This is the long term trend. Corn yield per acre is increasing 5% a year and will double in the next 20 years. Instead of 150 bushels per acre, we will be getting 300 bushels per acre. This rate of increase is about as much as the market can stand, otherwise there could be too big of a surplus. Bottom line is – corn is Not displacing any other cropland, and it’s not expected to. In the U.S., vacant arable land is plentiful, and no other crops are displaced when a crop is expanded.

Yet C-ARB based their rules, and the carbon score of ethanol, on Searchinger’s bogus claim that corn ethanol acreage would double in the near term and displace other crops. That is simply a false projection – not based on fact. Furthermore, we are now making upwards of 300 gallons more ethanol per acre from the corn cobs and corn stover – Additional biofuel that comes from the residues of the same cropland – without any additional acreage. That enhances the carbon score of ethanol, because it spreads the inputs across 60% more fuel per acre. Some bio-refineries are also extracting oil from the residues, and that can also improve the carbon score. C-ARB uses false data and old data, instead of the cutting edge technology that is being implemented across the industry.

C-ARB also embraced Searchinger’s bogus claim: That deforestation in other countries was caused by biofuel production in the U.S.. That’s a false assumption. Timber taking, cattle ranching and subsistence farming are by far the main causes. A much smaller percentage of deforested land, is later sold and then converted to commercial crops, but nothing that can be linked to corn ethanol in the U.S.. Deforestation has been going on for over 100 years – Long before the expansion of the biofuels industry.

C-ARB totally distorts the environmental impact of gasoline and diesel fuel – Saying that ethanol is no better than gasoline because of indirect land use change. That is totally false. Ethanol recycles CO2 and burns far cleaner than gasoline which causes CO2 to accumulate in the atmosphere. Burning gasoline and diesel fuel releases sulfurous black carbon soot and contributes to acid rain. Ethanol does not. That’s why just looking at the amount of carbon released by the two fuels is Superficial. Take a look at the origin of the carbon, the nature of the carbon, and all the carcinogens and neurotoxins gasoline releases into the air you breathe, including the killer Benzene.

The gasoline that California is using is also derived from energy and pollution intensive Canadian Tar Sands that deforest millions of acres. Also, imported oil that is shipped thousands of miles burning dirty fossil fuels. We also spend over $50 billion a year protecting our foreign oil supply, guarding oil fields, pipelines and shipping lanes. That involves burning a huge amount of dirty diesel fuel, jet fuel, and bunker fuel by inefficient, polluting military technology. All of this should be factored into the comparison between gasoline and biofuel. But C-ARB totally ignored all of this and grossly distorted the carbon scores of both fuels.

C-ARB tried to cook the books, in order to blackball out-of state ethanol and protect the Petroleum Industry. This is corrupt and violates Federal Law, Interstate Commerce and domestic free trade.



I think your number for the cost of military protection of imported oil is low. More likely a third of the annual defense budget is indirectly used to protect imported oil. A strong defense profile means securing energy resources to meet the demands of US/Canada/Mexico and NATO treaty nations.

Obviously the oil industry wants to paint domestic ethanol - corn or cellulosic - in a bad light. However, carbon weighting is largely bogus as the carbon cycle has little impact on climate. Land use is a reasonable measure but claims that the nascent biofuels industry in the US causes deforestation in SA or Africa seems unfounded.

As algal oil becomes the standard biofuel choice going forward land use issues will evaporate since algae can be produced on arid, waste land and with salt water.

Aureon Kwolek

@ Sulleny –

Yes – The cost to protect foreign oil supply is much higher, if you include protection for Canada, Mexico, and NATO. I was doing a rough comparison between gasoline and ethanol for the U.S., not other countries included. I said “$50 billion a year or more” – to be on the conservative side. It could be much higher than that, even just for the U.S.. When I conducted an overview of the cost, I found a broad range of estimates. A Rand Report concluded 15% of our entire Defense Budget, which fluctuates from year to year, in the range of $450 to $600 billion, depending on the cost over-runs of our wars.

Algae is the key to replacing fossil fuels. And I also agree with you, that controlling CO2 is a hoax. The other pollutants – yes. But CO2 is not a pollutant. The Global Elite are pushing it as a universal control mechanism. This may be to lay the groundwork for a global carbon tax. That would be their stepping stone to a global sales tax, a global income tax, and a global personal household carbon tax. Hold on to your sovereignty.

Obama’s like all the other politicians. He tells people what they want to hear, when in reality, he’s a front man for a New World Order “CO2 Hoax”, Government Control of your medical records, and hiding the illegal activity of the Federal Reserve.

Henry Gibson

Even at double or triple production rates existing cornland will not supply the energy needs of the US. Almost all land now used for growing corn was once grazing land for Bison. The limited amount of corn grown in the US and its subsidized use for fuel compared to the oil profits allowed for the speculative increase in price througout the world that had the effect of depleting the nutrition of many all over the world and many in the US and Mexico.

The amount of sunlight reaching the corn plants limits the energy that can be obtained from any area of land. In the US, almost no cornfields save up energy in the winter. Parabolic solar collectors would be a better use of the land, and the electricity produced can be used to charge batteries in hybrid cars.

The production of electricity with uranium energy can be done with adequate efficiency and very low costs. This will free up coal to be made into liquid fuels for plug-in-hybrid cars, and eventually all of the liquid automotive fuels needed can be made from recycled CO2 and uranium or thorium energy.

Please do remember or discover for yourseves that all life, including humans, has always been internally radio-active and exposed surounding life to the nuclear rays which life has survived and repaired any damage as well as it has survived and repaired the damage from the suns rays. The Sun is the major source of damaging rays to all forms of life. All of the Uranium on the earth could not eliminate as many creatures and humans as has been done by the Sun.

The human race could not have developed without the energy from the sun, but it can actually now live without it. A sufficiently large number of humans could move underground and have all of their food and other energy supplied by geothermal energy. They could also use nuclear reactors. Enough uranium has been mined already to supply 100,000 people with all the energy they will need for thousands if not millions of years.

It it well known how to make methanol from nuclear energy produced hydrogen and recycled CO2. Ethanol, a food, can also be made. Methanol has been and can be used as food for protein producing organisms. Vitamins and other nutrients can be made by other known and unknown organisms. The oxygen produced by electrolysis has the obvious use. Nitrogen will be recycled in and out of the various supplies as needed. Cattle or goats can do a good job, as they do now, of making milk from almost any organic material.

What ever the fears that people have about nuclear energy, it is what we have always used indirectly from the sun, and the human invented form of fission reactors has proven for more safe than the airline industry not to mention the highway system or mines. The 500 new reactors that the US will need to eliminate the use of coal or natural gas for producing heat or electricity will take up hardly any land relative to a small city. The amount fission products produced per person will amount to less than a soft drink can full per person per lifetime, and there are places already in operation to make the storage of those materials far safer than a texting phone operated by a vehicle driver or a drinking driver. Forget about nuclear waste and do sominthin about unsafe drivers if you realy want to saave lives. ..HG..

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