Canadian Biomass Magazine

Cellulosic subsidies bashed in Wall Street Journal

December 13, 2011
By Scott Jamieson

Dec 13, 2011, New York - An article in the Wall Street Journal bashes US subsidies and mandates around cellulosic ethanol as unrealistic and outrageously expensive for the insignificant gains made to date.

"Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar
and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard
of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy
revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering
billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by
2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch
grass and other plant life.

To launch this wonder-fuel industry,
the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5
billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush
signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per
gallon produced.

Most important, the Nancy Pelosi Congress passed and Mr. Bush signed a
law imposing mandates on oil companies to blend cellulosic fuel into
conventional gasoline. This guaranteed producers a market. In 2010 the
mandate was 100 million barrels, rising to 250 million in 2011 and 500
million in 2012. By the end of this decade the requirements leap to 10.5
billion gallons a year.


When these mandates were established, no companies produced
commercially viable cellulosic fuel. But the dream was: If you mandate
and subsidize it, someone will build it.

Guess what? Nobody has." See the complete article here.

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