Saw this today on the Wall Street Journal's site. We're (Texas) trying to be exempted from the Federal mandates of producing 36 B gallons of biofuels in the next decade and a half. The problem, and yes it really is a problem, is that first generation biofuels compete with too many precious resources, namely: food, water, and land.
In particular, the competition with food has been making headlines lately, and we're not immune to this in Texas. The price of feed is going up, which translates to higher costs down the line. Creating fuel from food isn't a smart practice. While the mandate to increase biofuels production is nice, at it's current state, it's not working out.
This is not to say biofuels are a bad idea. I wholeheartedly believe that 2nd and 3rd (yes, we're already talking about those) biofuels will be the interim solution for transportation. Feedstocks such as cellulose for ethanol and algae for pretty much everything (biodiesel, ethanol, JP8, hydrogen,..) will be important in the next few years.
Contrary to what Mr. Dickerson of EERE said yesterday, I believe that food vs. fuel is a real problem, and I laud Gov. Perry for taking this on. This may be one of the few times where I actually agree with Gov. Rick Perry. Go ahead and quote me on that. He was Ag. Commissioner at one time, so it would make sense for him to be on this.
For once it's not California raising a big stink about Federal programs.