OTA debates biodiesel value
Aug 14, 2005 7:33 AM
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has asked the Canadian Agriculture Minister to reconsider the government's plans to mandate biodiesel.
David Bradley, OTA president, cited a study at Cornell University that contends the environmental benefits are overstated.
The study concluded that turning plants into fuel uses more fossil fuel energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, Bradley said.
The researchers considered such factors as the energy used in producing the crop, including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop, and in fermenting/distilling the ethanol from the water mix.
The study found that biodiesel production using soybean required 27 percent more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced and that biodiesel production using sunflower required 118 percent more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced.
"We cannot accept the imposition of the potential cost burden for the trucking industry and the Ontario economy for mandating biodiesel,” Bradley said.
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