by Anne Petermann
In the past two days, two conflicting articles have addressed the use of trees, and especially GE trees, for the production of liquid agrofuels (cellulosic ethanol).
The first article Range Fuels Closing Cellulosic Ethanol Plant announced that Range Fuels is shutting down its Georgia-based cellulosic ethanol plant after completing only one batch of cellulosic ethanol (also known as second generation ethanol). The company cited the financial crisis and technological hurdles as the reason for shutting down despite $300 million in state, federal and private investments.
The second article, Court challenges stall new biofuel crops from the DesMoines Register, trumpets the advantages of trees for making second generation cellulosic fuels, but notes that restrictions on the use of genetically engineered trees is hampering their use.
One particularly interesting quote comes from John Heissenbuttel, co-director of the so-called Council for Sustainable Biomass Production, who states, “I do not see how we’re going to make the advancements that we need to make without biotechnology.”
To read Anne Petermann’s entire article, click here.