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February 24, 2006



"A recent study found that the U.S. could produce the equivalent of 7.9 million barrels of oil per day by 2050, more than 50% of our current total oil use for transportation. Biofuels could:

Virtually eliminate our demand for gasoline by 2050"

OK, there's a bit of misleading going on here. Even if that 7.9 mm bbl/d figure is correct, and it seems ambitious, as even they report, that's half of our current transportation demand, not our demand in 2050. How can they say it will "virtually eliminate our demand for gasoline by 2050" when at maximum, it could contribute less than half our transportation energy demand?!

That's not to say ethanol couldn't provide a decent chunk of our transport needs, but it's quite misleading to say it would virtually eliminate our demand for gasoline. Why do they have to try to hype it like that when it is so obviously untrue and contradicts their previous sentance?

Besides, I don't imagine that they used a well-to-wheels analysis to get those figures. If they did, they would have to factor in all the energy use needed to farm the ethanol which would probably take quite a large chunk out of that 7.9 mm bbl/d figure as well.

Jim from The Energy Blog

I was careful to put those comments in quotes and give the source. Sometimes I would rather have my readers comment. Besides I do not have enough time to do good enough research to properly comment on all of my posts. I have found that trade associations may not fully explain everything or take items out of context but they do express an opinion that I believe deserves publication.


Jim, I meant my comment to in no way disparage you or your reporting on this blog. I was mearly pointing out an inconcsistency in the Ethanol Outlook report, which you did clearly mark as an exerpt.

I appreciate the mostly nuetral stance you take in all your reporting (with any opinionated comments clearly demarcated by an italic 'commentary' section) and I was not implying that you were being misleading, but rather that the authors of the Ethanol Outlook were clearly contradicting themselves and presenting misleading figures.

Nike Novillo

Hello, thanks for the data.
I just wanted to point out that although the report gives some figures about what the US production might be, it doesn't state that the country could supply all the required biofuel to sustitute gasoline by 2050. When it says that "biofuels can eliminate the gasoline demand", it is not refering just to US biofuel, but biofuels in general. I don't think there is a contradiction there.

Ethanol Blog

Let's digg in post by post !

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