Ethanol Industry Refutes Global Rebound Theory

(Posted by Cindy Zimmerman on the site
First it was the unprovable Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) theory. Now ethanol is being challenged by a new “what goes around comes around” hypothesis called the “Global Rebound Effect.”
Earlier this week, the Clean Air Task Force filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the Renewable Fuel Standard for failing “to account for the “global rebound effect” when analyzing the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels.”
This theory goes on the assumption that, “By displacing some gasoline from the U.S. market, the RFS reduces overall demand for petroleum, which in turn leads to lower prices, increased consumption, and higher greenhouse gas emissions in other countries. If EPA had considered the “global rebound effect” in its analysis of different biofuels, only a few of those fuels would have met Congress’s emissions reduction requirements.”
Using this theory, ANY action the United States might take to reduce gasoline consumption – from using more ethanol to increasing vehicle fuel efficiency – will result in INCREASED gasoline use elsewhere in the world. As Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen puts it, “Whatever environmentalist activists call this new theory, I call it nonsense.”

RFA is is challenging the lawsuit and the whole concept of Global Rebound Effect. “To penalize a technology, any technology, that reduces American oil consumption for any potential oil use in other nations is asinine,” said Dinneen. “Environmentalists are in favor of precious little these days, but by applying their new logic even efforts to improve efficiencies such as gas mileage must suffer a carbon penalty. It simply defies logic.”

Our Take:
The end point of the tortured logic and myopia of groups like the Clean Air Task Force is that in order to save the earth, we have to destroy it. Or at least call an end to human existence.

Until other technologies come to fruition, the two options for moving vehicles are petroleum-based fuels and starch/sugar based alcohols. That’s it. These are the only fuels that will work in our cars, trucks and SUVs and our refueling infrastructure without massive overhauls.

What would the indirect land use change calculation be for scrapping every current fueling station and underground storage tank in the U.S.? How about the environmental cost of digging up enough nickel, cadmium and lithium to make every vehicle a plug in electric? Then there’s the cost in capital and environmental impact of building all the nuclear power plants, expanding/building new hydro dams, additional coal and natural gas fired electric generation plants in order to power all those vehicles (Oh the wars we could start in order to guarantee the steady flow of enough volume of these precious metals to our vehicle factories).

So, if you are not proposing to do that, and you are proposing to stop the growth of ethanol production, what you are proposing is more:
a. offshore drilling disasters
b. more refinery fires (we average about one a week in the U.S., often causing injuries to workers—and in spite of this oil companies are lackadaisical in their approach to maintaining refineries).
c. More strip mining of oil sands in Canada and Venezuela
d. More air pollution
e. Spending more money and lives to defend world oil production

We feel almost as safe as we do knowing Big Oil companies are willing to cut corners to save a couple million here or there, while creating environmental risks that, when disaster strikes, result in billions in costs.

Any honest environmental group would acknowledge that the best way to safeguard the future of the planet is to move away from oil use as quickly as possible. “Global Rebound” is just the latest way for environmentalists to be against ethanol without having to come up with a practical, real world solution to our energy needs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: