A new study says that the widespread use of ethanol could cause twice as many GHG emissions as gas because of land-use changes. According to Business Week, the researchers claim that no previous study on ethanol has included the factor of land use.
The study argues that farmers under economic pressure to produce biofuels will plow up more forests and grasslands, releasing stored carbon. For corn-based ethanol, the land use change would result in a 93 percent increase of GHG over 30 years as compared to gasoline. Biofuels from switchgrass would result in 50 percent more GHG emissions.
A WSJ article last fall said that ethanol would cause more problems than solve. Regarding this latest study, The Renewable Fuels Association said that the researchers’ view of land-use changes was “simplistic.”