The Story Behind Biofuels

The non-performance of cellulosic biofuels has cost us taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The EPA has drastically lowered its estimate of 2011 cellulosic biofuels production from 250 million gallons to just 6.5 million gallons. It’s an enormous difference.

Robert Rapier’s recent blog post is called The Media Served as a Vehicle to Promote Hype. It refers to biofuels.

The Media Served as a Vehicle to Promote Hype

…In fact, not only were the claims not challenged, the media played a big role in helping establish the Range Fuels hype. Khosla was given a platform in many outlets to promote his companies. There were high profile (and uncritical) pieces on Range Fuels in The New York Times and in Forbes. Discover Magazine published a story on Range called Anything Into Ethanol. Given their previous gushing story on Changing World Technologies called Anything Into Oil — followed by CWT’s bankruptcy, perhaps Discover should stop trying to tell readers about the next big renewable fuel breakthrough. They don’t appear to have reporters assigned to these stories who know how to differentiate hype from reality.

Why should the media have sensed earlier that something was amiss? If they had simply applied the “it seems too good to be true” rule, perhaps some challenging questions would have been asked. I believed something was amiss because their claims ran strongly counter to what I knew about gasification and subsequent conversion into liquid fuels. They ran strongly counter to what I knew about the cost and length of time to build a plant. So I started to raise questions — but I also asked “why the mainstream media has completely missed this story.” Read the rest

It’s worth a read.