ANN ARBOR, Mich.--MichBio, the biosciences industry association in Michigan, issued the following statement today regarding the release of a University of Michigan research study that claims the rising use of biofuels in the U.S. has led to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with global warming.
Professor DeCicco's most recent, and flawed, study funded by the oil industry gives an inappropriate unearned carbon storage credit to the petroleum industry. The oil industry may have paid for the study, but they do not pay for carbon storage or carbon recycling. The biofuels industry, by comparison, does create an economic incentive to recycle carbon.
Professor DeCicco's modeling gives fossil fuels a credit for carbon storage from existing forests and agriculture. This inclusion is wholly inappropriate in a lifecycle model because there is no economic relationship between the fossil fuel industry and agriculture or forestry. Farmers do not plant crops to soak up carbon emissions from oil use; nor do forest owners preserve forests to store carbon emissions from oil use. DeCicco inappropriately argues that all carbon in the atmosphere is the same, so biofuels are the same as or worse than petroleum fuels. But biofuels provide a direct economic incentive to farmers and foresters to manage land and recycle carbon. The oil industry creates no such incentive.