The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Getting Our Energy Policy Right

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 5, 2015

The Truth Behind Biofuels Glitz


Denver Post Editorial: Yet another major environmental organization has concluded that biofuels, including ethanol, are a net detriment to the world — both in environmental and economic terms.


The World Resources Institute (WRI) "recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy. The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity."

Why? The group, based in Washington, D.C., says converting plants into fuel is a terribly inefficient use of land, can never produce a major portion of the world's supplies, and puts pressure on cropland that is needed to feed the world's growing population, among other things.

After all, the organization notes in explaining the results of a new study, "People already use roughly three-quarters of the world's vegetated land for crops, livestock grazing and wood harvests." It would be an environmental disaster if that percentage were pushed up further as a result of misguided policies to spur biofuels production.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.