The National 25x’25 Steering Committee has responded to widespread media coverage of studies published by Science Magazine last week, saying they failed to report that there are ways to insure that future biofuels give us both a new renewable energy source and greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The journal Science reported last week that studies indicate clearing land for the production of biofuels would produce twice as much greenhouse gas as the use of biofuels would reduce.
The statement from the 25x’25 Alliance says, “environmentally sensitive lands should not be exploited in pursuit of renewable fuels. In fact, we have long held that the growing increase in demand for energy, along with food, feed and fiber, can be met with a boost in production facilitated by advances in technology.”
The group also says that development of cellulosic ethanol will not only minimize land use changes but help the environment. They note a recent study of the use of switchgrass for ethanol by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln showed that it produced 540% more energy than it took to grow it. Switchgrass offers many environmental benefits such as preventing runoff, putting organic material back into the ground improving soil and requires no pesticides or fertilizer.