Image credit: pawpaw67, used under Creative Commons license.
Malaysian palm oil producers may be committing to green(er) practices, but that's unlikely to appease George Monbiot. He has long been a critic of biofuels for vehicles, but he is absolutely incensed at proposals for a power plant using biofuels for energy.Monbiot reports over at The Guardian on controversial plans for a biofuels-burning power plant in Bristol, England. While he still opposes biofuels for most applications in transportation, he does admit that this is a response to a problem with a limited set of options—namely finding a liquid fuel replacement for gasoline that can be used in moving vehicles.
Making electricity, however, has no such limitations, with renewables, nuclear, gas and even coal providing an environmentally preferable solution. Using edible oils for power is, says Monbiot, "eco-vandalism on a staggering scale." Furthermore, he argues, this situation is being entirely brought about by perverse subsidies as the result of misdirected Government action:
"...you get twice as many certificates for producing a given amount of electricity from vegetable oil as you do by generating it from wind, even though it's far less green, and far less renewable. This situation is entirely an artefact of government policy and it's time the government brought it to an end."
More on Biofuels and Environmental Damage
The Dangers of Biofuels
Palm Oil Giant Agrees to Set More Sustainable Standards in Indonesia
Biofuels Comparison Chart: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly