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Biofuels key to effective climate change policy

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Ecologist, environmental policy analyst and former Ontario Environment Commissioner Gord Miller has delivered a thorough review of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission's anti-biofuels report titled 'Course Correction'.

Miller's report, Staying the Course, rejects Ecofiscal's data, methodology and conclusions. Applying over 15 years of experience analysing energy and environment policy, Miller concludes that when properly assessed, the economic and environmental case for Canadian biofuel policies and mandates is "quite different" from the negative assessment Ecofiscal presents.

"Biofuel mandates are key to any effective climate policy and should be increased by Canadian governments contrary to Ecofiscal's recommendations," Miller notes, "Ecofiscal's recommendation would result in more emissions; poorer air quality; increased consumer costs; and [would] shut down clean technology research and development being conducted by the biofuels industry."

Renewable fuels mandates are critical for transportation emission reductions in the near and longer term. "There is no good argument that this course needs correction," says Miller. "Now is the time to keep a firm grip on the tiller and continue staying the course. Canada must not abandon renewable fuel mandates, the single largest guaranteed source of transportation fuel emission reductions."

Renewable Industries Canada supports Miller's objectivity and expert review of Ecofiscal's Course Correction. "Ecofiscal would have us believe the cost of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from biofuels is too expensive," said RICanada President, Andrea Kent. "Mr. Miller's 'Staying the Course' disproves this, showing how Ecofiscal uses bad economics to inflate the costs of biofuels by not accounting for their unique properties, such as higher octane. Course Correction shows how little Ecofiscal appreciates how the fuel market functions and what it takes to lower transportation emissions. It required a thorough review from a broader perspective. Mr. Miller answered that call."

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