Growing Towards a Sustainable Biofuel Future: A Comprehensive Policy Strategy for Navigating Tradeoffs and Stakeholder Interests in U.S. Agriculture
Author(s)Donohoo, Pearl; MacKenzie, Don; McAulay, Jeff; Pertuze, Julio; Stark, Addison
Rapid growth of biofuels production in the United States is reshaping the agricultural industry, delivering both benefits and conflict among stakeholders. Routes forward on biofuels production should be viewed in the context of economic, land use, environmental, and energy security tradeoffs and their potential impacts in the future. This report discusses the current, emerging, and prospective conflicts arising from increased biofuels production, recommends policies to resolve these conflicts, and identifies likely areas of support and opposition from stakeholder groups. The report focuses heavily on ethanol, because ethanol accounts for 95 percent of U.S. biofuels production (Worldwatch 2006); however, many of the trade-offs and recommendations identified in the report can and should be applied to biofuels more generally. This report does not attempt to assess whether or not biofuels are the best option for transportation fuel use. Rather, it accepts that current mandates, policies, and market conditions will result in increased biofuel production and proposes policies to support growth in more economically and environmentally sustainable manners.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2008-12