Despite growing concerns that the widespread production and use of corn ethanol is actually counter-productive to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian government is moving ahead with a mandate to require ethanol blending into all gasoline supplies. By September 2010, Canadian refiners will be required to have at least 5-percent ethanol content in all pump gas. The regulation has received cabinet approval, and if it proceeds, would require nearly half a billion gallons of ethanol annually for blending.

Recent studies have indicated that the full well-to-wheel emissions of ethanol from corn may actually increase emissions rather than reducing it. Nonetheless, the Conservative party that is currently in power in Canada has most of its support in the western provinces, which just happen to produce most of the corn as well. Gord Quaiattini, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, says that Canadian producers exceed the 20-percent emissions reduction requirement needed to be considered renewable fuels, but the Canadian calculation method is different from the US formula and does not count indirect land use.

[Source: Globe and Mail]

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