12 November 2008

Proof: HarperCons Knew Biofuel a Bad Idea

They knew it and yet they still endorsed - and funded - biofuel production.

The HarperCons went so far as to require that gas have 5% biofuel by 2010, that diesel contain 2% biofuel and provided $1.5 billion in subsidies to support the biofuel industry: farmers, and agricultural and energy companies that produce ethanol from corn or wheat.

The Harper government was warned by experts at Environment Canada two years ago that a multi-billion-dollar plan to boost production of green fuels could cause more problems than benefits...

"Feedstocks and biofuel production consume large amounts of water, natural gas, biomass, electricity and fertilizers," said one of the briefing notes, drafted on May 16, 2006, by a technology strategies and climate-change division at Environment Canada....

Environment Canada's research suggested that ethanol produced from waste products is much more sustainable, but the government created a smaller fund of $500-million, specifically to support this type of "next-generation" ethanol.

Subsequent material prepared for the minister said that consumption of gasoline with a 10% ethanol content could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and some air pollutants, but generate other problems, such as increased fuel consumption, higher prices at the pumps and a 100% increase in emissions of acetaldehyde, which has been listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

While one document estimated the increased costs for producing ethanol could result in a one-or two-cent increase in the price of gasoline at the pumps, another estimated that the overall greenhouse gas emissions reductions would cost as much as $200 per tonne of CO2.

"If all Canadian gasoline were E-10 [containing 10% ethanol], GHG emissions would be reduced by about three megatonnes of carbon dioxide per year," said a briefing note prepared for Ms. Ambrose in May, 2006.

Nothing like getting one's facts straight, is there?

What the HarperCons saw was a way to boost industry, period.

Didn't matter the cost to the environment. Which is no surprise, given the HarperCons never have seen global warming as manmade.

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