In our rush to adopt new energy sources to reduce our dependence on oil, we may have overlooked some of the potential harm that ethanol and other biofuel production is having on our environment. Experts are concerned that ethanol refineries, like the one pictured above, are actually increasing pollution because of their coal consumption, fertilizer runoff, and deforestation.
The food-to-fuel boom has affected more than just carbon emissions: food prices are rising at twice the rate of inflation, and farmers are switching from organic production to chemical-based based production.
We may have entered this bio-fuel boom too quickly to really see the long-term effects on both the environment and the economy. The panel of experts is not suggesting we halt production of biofuels, but rather that we look for a way to produce renewable resources in a way that is the least harmful to our environment.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? Or is it still too early to judge? This will be an interesting discussion to take place in the coming months and years, but keep it in mind before you attend your next pro-biofuel rally.