A Better Route Than Biofuels

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vinod Khosla ["All Biofuels Are Not the Same," op-ed, June 16] missed a critical point in defending biofuels. Instead of trying to find "good" biofuels, we should be asking "why biofuels at all?"

Investment in biofuels yields fewer returns than investment in transportation alternatives. The renewable fuels standard that Congress passed in December, in combination with generous tax credits, provides $188 billion for biofuels. This will reduce U.S. petroleum use by less than 10 percent and could potentially offer little to no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, because 13 billion gallons of corn ethanol are exempt from the law's greenhouse gas standards.

Devoting these subsidies to public transportation and smarter growth would do much more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fuel use and costs to consumers. But big oil companies have thwarted such solutions. It is time to take control of mobility out of the hands of wealthy corporations and entrepreneurs and put it into the hands of the people.

KATE McMAHON

Energy and Transportation Policy Campaigner

Friends of the Earth

Washington


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