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Post details: How Biodiesel can get Florida halfway to Crist's emissions reduction goals...


Permalink 08:10:39 pm, Categories: News, 201 words   English (US)

How Biodiesel can get Florida halfway to Crist's emissions reduction goals...

Florida Governor Crist is expected to sign an Executive Order this week at the Climate Change Summit that include among other directives:

  • Reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions for state agencies:
    "a 10 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2012, a 25 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2017, and a 40 percent reduction from current emission levels by 2025"
  • Reduction in state Greenhouse Gas emissions: "by 2017, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; by 2025, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels; by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of 1990 levels"
  • "All state agencies and departments under the direction of the Governor shall use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when locally available."

Biodiesel provides a 78% lifecycle reduction in CO2 emissions. United States CO2 emissions data shows that diesel fuel used for transportation contributes 7% (or 110 million metric tons per year) of overall CO2 emission totals.

We* can knock out 78% of that using B100 (or 16% using B20) which would get us halfway (or one tenth using B20) of the way to a ten percent total reduction by 2012.

Fire up those Algae ponds and Jatropha farms!

*(Assumes Florida energy usage ratios are similar to overall national energy ratios).

Update 13 July:
Nice summary with some vids and notes on the summit at

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: J Banks [Visitor]
While biodiesel is cleaner on an air pollutants basis than traditional diesel, that is not the case for what we are now using, ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Your data is out of date. When you compare ULSD and biodiesel, there is not a benefit on the traditional air pollutants side.

On climate, you are stuck in the traditional assessment of biofuels through lifecycle GHG analysis. While one gallon of biodiesel might be better than petroleum based diesel, when we institute a policy to require large amounts of biodiesel, the market takes over and bad things can (and do) happen. The market sees a value to producing crops for feedstocks. Farmers either pull crops out of production and replace with a with a biofuel feedstock or dedicate crops that were going to food or feed towards biofuel feedstock. The grain market though is very in-elastic and something has to fill the voids that the farmers meeting the demand have created. This means that we have to get more out of the land we already have or create new crop land. While some increased efficiency is possible, land conversion is inevitable with large biofuel mandates. Lifecycle analyses do not take into account this land conversion. When you cut down trees or convert grasslands to croplands you release GHG's and you loose the lands ability to sequester GHG's in the future. If you factor this land conversion in, biofuels including biodiesel will likely be bad for the climate. If you want to see what can happen when you mandate biodiesel use, check out, a blog that looks at the impact the EU's biodiesel mandate is having around the world, especially in SE Asia.
Permalink 08/01/07 @ 18:59

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