Scrubbing the planet with a diamond crusted toothbrush
As we settle into the aftermath of the death of the "climate bill", it is worthwhile I think to consider the effectiveness of another government program designed to reduce carbon emissions, the ethanol program.
The CBO just released a report showing that the cost of a metric ton of carbon abatement via this program is $750!
By way of comparison, the WSJ points out that the price of carbon envisioned in cap and trade would be something around $25 - $30.
But that's not all. The NRDC points out that the CBO's estimates of abatement costs do not include "the emissions associated with land use change—i.e. the carbon dioxide that is released from forests or grasslands that are cleared and converted to farmland as a result of ethanol production—though the report notes that if those emissions were taken into account, the cost could increase substantially. Indeed analysis done by EPA shows that when you factor in the impacts of indirect land use chance, corn ethanol actually increases emissions relative to gasoline."
So our main biofuel program is fairly expensive and in all probability actually raises carbon emissions?
Is this a great country, or what?