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Working Paper: Environmental Challenges Associated With Corn Ethanol Production

Paper Number: 2007-05

Document Date: 04/2007

Author(s): Clay Ogg

Subject Area(s): Climate Change

Keywords: biofuel; ethanol; greenhouse gas; deforestation; energy conservation

Abstract: Policies aimed at conserving energy support energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and benefit consumers. In contrast, support for corn ethanol production raises world commodity prices and pressures the land and water base, as occurred in the U.S. during the plow-out of the seventies. Today, much of the deforestation/sodbusting and the resulting release of hundreds of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas occurs in tropical countries, like Indonesia, which is the third largest source of greenhouse gases in the world. Increased concern over global warming, sea rise, and threats to life on planet earth could lead to changes in policy in the U.S. and in Europe toward more support for conservation.

This paper is part of the Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.

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