INTRODUCTION The U.S. Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) seven years ago. Since then, biofuels have gone from darling to scapegoat for many environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public. The reasons for this shift are complex and include concerns about environmental degradation, uncertainties about impact on food security, new access to fossil fuels, and overly optimistic timetables. As a result, many people have written off biofuels. However, numerous studies indicate that biofuels, if managed sustainably, can help solve pressing environmental, social, and economic problems (Figure 1). The scientific and policy communities should take a closer look by reviewing the key assumptions underlying opposition to biofuels and carefully consider the probable alternatives. Liquid fuels based on fossil raw materials are likely to come at increasing environmental cost. Sustainable futures require energy conservation, increased efficiency, and alternatives to fossil fuels, including biofuels.

Contact Information
Contact Person: 
Bruce E. Dale
Contact Organization: 
Michigan State University
Publication Information
Author: 
Bruce E. Dale
James E. Anderson
Robert C. Brown
Steven Csonka
Virginia H. Dale
Gary Herwick
Randall D. Jackson
Nicholas Jordan
Stephen Kaffka
Keith L. Kline
Publication Year: 
2014
DOI: 
10.1021/es5025433
DOE Information
Bioenergy Category: