The White House is starting an advanced biofuels initiative, putting money toward researching a new generation of biofuels for planes and boats.
That’s all good. But BF < O has two sides. New technologies need customers who actually want the stuff. Airlines are a prime target for new biofuels, but they won’t use them unless BFs are, in fact, cheaper than Oil.
The EU has put together exactly this kind of incentive structure with its “Aviation Directive,” which includes airlines under its emissions cap. The cost to airlines is small, but they have significant potential to make quite a bit of money in the process. Biofuels are an easy way: keep going where you are going, just use lower-carbon fuels.
The EU’s system would reward airlines for the advanced biofuels this new program is meant to create. But Washington opposes the EU’s plan and even backs U.S. airlines suing the EU over its system including them.
The buck stops with the consumer: no demand, no sales. Why use tax dollars to research advanced biofuels and then oppose the only system we have to actually create the demand necessary for people to buy them?