The National Corn Growers Association’s Director of Biofuels recently took to the airwaves to spread the good news about corn ethanol. Dr. Pam Keck talked about a new report released from researchers in the Netherlands that shows current models assessing the impact of crops grown for biofuel production on land use to not accurately reflect current production and land use realities. According to Keck – the results of the study are great news and have important implications for those interested in improving the way in which policymakers determine the true environmental benefit of biofuels. For the first time ever – Keck says this study actually looked at the amount of global land use used for biofuel production instead of relying on the number used by others. They found farmers have made great strides in producing more crops using fewer resources. Over the last decade – according to the researchers – the increases in production agriculture have far outweighed any changes that have happened in the use of agricultural land for biofuels. In fact – Keck says they found that twice as much agricultural land has been used for urbanization – particularly in China and the European Union. Much more agricultural land has actually gone to other uses rather than for the production of biofuels. Keck explains that this finding is important because the findings used to determine the indirect land use score for biofuels are used to create public policy and the amount of ethanol that comes from corn that can go toward policy goals is limited – in part – because of this indirect land use score.
Keck says NCGA works tirelessly to promote ethanol by showing how the newest scientific evidence is relevant to the decisions made about America’s national energy policies. According to Keck – NCGA keeps close track of the data coming out that relates to the determination of ethanol’s greenhouse gas score. This data is then taken to the people charged with setting biofuel policies – such as people at the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. NCGA advocate for changes that would ensure the most accurate information possible is put into the models that are used when making decisions.
Source: NAFB News service