Should the U.S. subsidize the development of biofuels?

Should the U.S. subsidize the development of biofuels?

(1) Position Statement topic: Agriculture

(2) My position is that US should subsidize the development of biofuels

(3) Economic arguments against my position:

  1. Biofuels require much more energy to grow than they produce.
  2. Ethanol from maize, which is the main biofuels, takes 30% more energy than it produces (Lee & Cynthia, pp 74).
  3. Biofuels cannot help the US engage in carbon trade.
  4. Subsidizing biofuels will require large plantations of monocrops such as maize that have negative environmental implications.
  5. Subsidies will increase price of food.
  6. Planting large areas of biofuels will mean fewer plants for human consumption.
  7. Biofuels are not a guarantee for economic benefit.
  8. Oil prices are currently on a steady decline and could mean that biofuels are not profitable.

(4) Economic arguments in support of my position.

  1. Subsidies in biofuels reduce greenhouse gases emissions.
  2. The plants grown take carbon from the air and reduce the net carbon released into the atmosphere (Hunt, pp 91).
  3. Subsidizing biofuels development increases the security of the US.
  4. Most of the countries producing fossil fuel energy are enemies of the US.
  5. Biofuels subsidies improve the economic livelihood of farmers.
  6. The surplus in food production can be used for biofuels therefore improving the farmers’ profits (Dufey, pp 38).
  7. Biofuels are a future economic bet for the country.
  8. New crops in Jatropha look promising in terms of the amount of energy they produce.

(5) Conclusion

Although the current economic viability of subsidizing production of biofuels, they present a better alternative in terms of future economic viability. The economic value of reducing environmental degradation is more than the money used for subsidies and is immeasurable. The government should also invest in more alternative crops to compliment production from common biofuels such as maize. Government subsidies in biofuels production are an immeasurable economic value that should be upheld.

Works cited

Lee, Keat T, and Cynthia Ofori-Boateng. Sustainability of Biofuel Production from Oil Palm Biomass. , 2013. Internet resource.

Hunt, Colin. Carbon Sinks and Climate Change: Forests in the Fight against Global Warming. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2009. Internet resource.

Dufey, Annie. Biofuels Production, Trade and Sustainable Development: Emerging Issues. London: International Institute for Environment and Development, 2006. Internet resource.

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