Roulette or routine: Experts debate utility of biofuel

BLAIRSTOWN, Iowa – Does biofuel provide a reliable alternative at the pump? Or do the threats of ethanol use, such as crop failure and unpredictable weather, render the risk greater than the reward? With ethanol prices almost doubled due to concerns about flooding in the Midwest, the experts are divided, reports the New York Times. Those questioning the long-term benefits of biofuels, such as MIT lecturer and ethanol expert John M. Reilly, point out that agricultural markets can fluctuate just as widely as oil markets. Others, like Bob Dinneen, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, back biofuel as a viable option, pointing out that the recent inclement weather interrupted production at only two of the 160 ethanol refineries. But with a changing climate across the globe, the biofuel debate is about more than just energy; it also raises important questions about how we use and produce food, fuel, and water.

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Source: New York Times, Circle of Blue

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