The rationale of indirect land use remains in the hot seat and the biofuels industry continues to stand its ground. Today, Robert Zubrin, author of Energy Victory and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies had an article published in Roll Call, a publication targeted at Washington, DC politicians. “The Irrationality of Indirect Analysis,” lays out why taking into consideration the indirect effects of biofuels production is a mistake.
Many in the biofuels industry remember when indirect land use took the country by storm: February 2008. This is when Tim Searchinger published his report claiming that while corn-ethanol may decrease carbon dioxide emissions, the process to create the ethanol may indirectly increase carbon emissions through expanded agriculture development particularly in third world countries.
Zubrin writes, “A more cogent critique, in my view, would be a moral one, as the Searchinger argument, now apparently embraced by the EPA, presupposes that it is or should be a proper goal of American policy to restrict the economic growth of underdeveloped nations.”
The article continues to highlight how creating biofuels policies using scientifically unsound research would ultimately affect policies in all areas including health care and technological advances. He concludes, “Clearly such an absurd theory cannot be accepted as a basis for policy.”