Congress’ financial watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, says the U.S. Department of Energy lacks a plan for how to match up increased biofuels production with infrastructure and vehicles to use the green fuels.
This highlight report on the GAO web site says that America’s reliance on oil poses significant economic and environmental risks. But ethanol and biodiesel could replace oil for transportation fuels. However, the government doesn’t seem to be ready for the challenge:
DOE has not yet developed a comprehensive approach to coordinate its strategy for expanding biofuels production with the development of biofuel infrastructure and production of vehicles. Such an approach could assist in determining which blend of ethanol—E10, E85, or something in between— would most effectively and efficiently increase the use of the fuel and what infrastructure development or vehicle production is needed to support that blend level. In addition, DOE has not evaluated the performance of biofuel-related tax credits, the largest of which cost the Treasury $2.7billion in 2006. As a result, it is not known if these expenditures produced the desired outcomes or if similar benefits might have been achieved at a lower cost.
The report recommends that the Secretary of Energy collaborate with public and private sector stakeholders to develop a plan that coordinates expected biofuel production with gthe infrastructure to get it into the tanks of the vehicles that will need to be built, and coordinate with the Treasury Department to make sure biofuel tax credits and grants are doing what they afre supposed to do.