Corn-Based Ethanol Flunks Key Test

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Science  01 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5927, pp. 587
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_587

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Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a low-carbon fuel standard that requires greater use of fuels that cause lower greenhouse gas emissions, compared with gasoline. Corn-based ethanol doesn't meet that test and won't benefit from the new standard, CARB says, because diverting corn into ethanol production increases deforestation and the clearing of grasslands. The biofuels industry has attacked the board's methodology, as well as similar conclusions in a regulation drafted last year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is under review by the Obama Administration.