Mandating ethanol

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For more information on biofuel regulations in NSW, please visit Queensland state government announced on 23 April 2015 that it would be exploring the state’s biofuels potential as it puts Queensland on the path to a clean energy future.

Future Conclusions High short-term oil prices, increasing reliance on imported oil, and environmental considerations have prompted calls for the greater use in Australia (and elsewhere) of alternatives to petrol (and diesel).

While ethanol advocates argue that its production is vital for both the rural economy and national security—as a source of domestically produced energy—opponents deride what they see as a government boondoggle to help agribusiness, which by its very existence raises food prices and harms the environment.

The federal government no longer directly subsidizes ethanol, but the RFS serves as an indirect subsidy.

This boom time for crop farmers will increase land rents and land prices, so people who own cropland will obtain the lion's share of benefits (see Land Rents: How High Will They Go and Who Gains? In contrast, hog, cattle, dairy, and poultry producers will find persistent high feed costs and tight margins.

Eventually, livestock, milk, and egg prices will have to rise to cover the higher costs.

But a record 2007 corn crop may provide only one year of respite from tight margins.Demand for ethanol in NSW has been underpinned by the Biofuels Act 2007 which legislated that by 2011 the volume of ethanol sold was not to be less than 6% of the total volume of all petrol sold in the state.Once fully implemented, a demand for about 350ML of Ethanol should be realised.For decades, presidential candidates seeking to compete in the Iowa caucuses have dutifully pledged their support for the production and sale of ethanol.In 2011, Jon Huntsman went so far as to cite his opposition to subsidies for production of the corn-based biofuel as a reason to skip the state, given the strength of the lobbying groups behind it. While all three Democratic candidates for the White House have voiced their support for the corn-based biofuel and thus, they hope, garnered support from those who produce and profit from it, the Republican front-runner in Iowa is adamantly opposed. Ted Cruz is strongly opposed to the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which mandates that all gas sold in the US include a certain percentage of biofuels like ethanol.Corn use by ethanol plants is projected to increase by 1.7 billion bushels in 2007 and by at least another 900 million bushels in 2008.


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