Biofuel bill off to the Senate
The House of Commons passed the controversial biofuel law, Bill C-33, yesterday afternoon when the Liberal Party backed the Conservatives to carry the vote 173 to 64. The result is only slightly surprising, since the Liberals clearly need to avoid coming off either anti-farmer to keep votes, or anti-agribusiness to keep campaign donations. But there was hope until the last minute that they would switch camps, especially since this wasn’t a confidence measure. The law will most likely sail through the senate, since the Liberals dominate there.
Unsuprisingly, a biofuel industry rep hailed the vote and placed blame for the food crisis on droughts, oil prices and price speculation. That last one is a little surprising though, given that much of the specualtion has arisen because the food is now being used as fuel. Although I guess the agribusiness can’t be directly blamed for what commodity traders do.
Reuters also reports the legislation will create demand for an estimated 2 billion litres of ethanol and 600 million litres of biodiesel.
In any case, it seems like Canada will continue to be part of the biofuel problem and not part of the solution for at least a few more years to come, until we figure out hydrogen or something.