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In theory Bio fuels appear to be reduce carbon emission; however in practice, bio fuels are less environmentally friendly than there statistics claim. It is true that plants absorbs carbon from the air;however the process of turning a seed into fuel requires a huge amount of energy. We must also look into the fact that the United States must find a way to make this fuel compatible with our current machinery. This will not only consume a great deal of money, it will also consume huge amounts of energy. We must also look into the fact that despite the fact that biofuel is good for our atmosphere, it is a horrid substitute for fossil fuel as it will need more energy to produce than it generates.
“In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for bio diesel production, the study found that:
soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.” (http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/july05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html)
The increased production of bio fuel poses a great treat to the environment. If bio fuels are to meet the energy requirements of the United States, vast areas of land would be dedicated to these crops. This creates a monocultural environment in which many animals/wildlife would be denied there native habitat as they would be denied of there native foods. These crops are not grown for human consumption so they are most likely to have huge amounts of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides as well as genetically altered crops. The production of bio fuel can also be seen a threat to the environment as it would lead to massive deforestation due to a massive need for energy and a need for sugar cane plantations. This can already be seen in places such as Brazil and Indonesia.
“In the Atlantic Forest, which is located in the southeastern coastal area of Brazil, sugar and coffee plantations were the major causes of deforestation.” (http://www.zum.de/whkmla/sp/0910/csj/csj2.html)
America’s demand for energy is so great that there is no possible way of achieving independence through bio fuel as it would damage our relationship with countries such as Nigeria, Canada, Angola e.t.c who are main suppliers of fossil fuels. Trying to produce enough bio fuel to reach the United States demand would mean that we would need to decrease agriculture for human purposes and increase agriculture for bio fuel. This means that America would have to rely on imported food thus leading us to inflation and poverty.
“The main problem with biodiesel is, as a country, we can’t make enough of it. I’m talking on a scale which will enable the country to climb out of the petrol-hydrocarbon-fossil fuel mess we are in. There is simply not enough land area to grow crops for biodiesel and food too.” (http://making-your-own-biodiesel.com/page/2/)
Finally, we must talk about the bio fuel technologies. Bio fuel technologies may improve but this is not guaranteed. The technology used to create these bio fuel may require more genetic energy than the public is willing to take.
“Some types of biofuel technology are actually rather ancient,” (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-biofuel-technology.htm)
In conclusion, bio fuels are not the best option for the United States, the best option would be to focus our attention on reducing energy consumption not completely changing it.