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Buried in the health car reform legislation is a mention of a paper-making byproduct known as "black liquor." This substance, a wood-pulping byproduct, is utilized as a biofuel to generate electricity for paper-making companies throughout the U.S. Up until now, companies utilizing this black substance could claim a hefty tax credit related to the use of biofuels for production purposes.

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The law of unintended consequences strikes again. This time unscrupulous bean counters in the paper industry are using a loophole in a 2005 alternative fuel tax credit law to turn red ink into black. The paper industry is already the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases and now it's even worse. The alternative fuel tax credit was meant to encourage blending alternative fuels with gasoline or diesel. Doing so would earn the blender $0.50 per gallon back from the IRS.

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As Volvo's vehicles get cleaner and cleaner, the company is helping to create renewable fuels to power them. This week, the company announced that Volvo Technology Transfer AB is investing in Chemrec AB, the "World Leader in Black Liquor Gasification" and a company Volvo says has developed a technology (after 15 years of work) for the production of synthesis gases. Actually producing fuel is the next step.

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