REAP-Canada biofuel policy brief to the house of commons

Here is a link to the biofuel policy brief to the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture hearings on Bill C-33. Our position is that the Canadian federal government needs to study this policy further to determine if its in Canada’s best interest relative to other biofuel options available to provide GHG mitigation and energy security.

AAFC Standing Committee Briefing

The major points made are:

  • The GHG estimates for Bill C-33 (legislating 2% biodiesel and 5%
    ethanol) are overestimated as they fail to include landscape emissions from N20 pollution and landscape changes in carbon due to land conversion.
  • The legislation is not fiscally responsible as the cost of corn
    ethanol mitigation cost is $379/tonne of CO2 and biodiesel incentives at the proposed 20 cents per litre will be inadequate to enable commercial biodiesel production from vegetable oil as soybean and canola biodiesel are selling at $1300 and $1000/tonne respectively.
  • The legislation will not contribute appreciable to developing the
    Canadian farm sector through a “Made in Canada solution” as Canada is already a net importer of corn from the US. Wheat at $350/tonne is not a viable feedstock for ethanol production (ethanol plants even in the wheat breadbasket of Canada are largely using imported US corn as their main feedstock). Largely the legislation will create markets for US corn and in the longer term liquified natural gas imports into Canada rather than encourage a domestic renewable energy industry.
We propose the Canadian government embrace a more fiscally responsible approach to Greenhouse gas mitigation and energy security by creating more parity in the way they apply incentives to the biofuel sector and they treat all sectors fairly (ie not pick winners). The best approach we believe is to encourage market forces to work to reduce GHG by developing a modest national carbon tax and paying all renewable energy technologies green carbon incentives to support their market introduction. Europe is also making the mistake of legislating liquid fuel blends into the transport sector rather than embracing a market approach to the GHG and energy
security problem.

Our policy brief was based on this 2008 report which examined the effectiveness and cost of GHG offsets from renewable energy technologies in the transport, power and heat sectors.

AAFC Standing Committee Briefing

Roger Samson
Executive Director
Box 125 Centennial Centre CCB13
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9
T: (514) 398-7743
T: (514) 398-7972

Klean Industries Inc is a supporting member of REAP-Canada.

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